Monday, 5 March 2012

St. Matthew's, Shankill

St. Matthew's Parish Church, Shankill has three brass tablets mounted on the pulpit. The centre tablet reads, 'This pulpit is erected to the Glory of God and in honour of 800 men of this parish who nobly responded to the call of duty and fought for king and country in the Great War 1914 - 1919. Also in loving memory of those of their number who sacrificed their lives in the sacred cause of freedom and humanity. Their names are inscribed on the adjoining tablets. "They were a wall unto us by night, and day" 1 Sam 25. 16.'

Tablet 1 has 55 names. Tablet two shown above has 58 names including that of J. McIlhagga. The only 'J' from Belfast known to me was James McIlhagga who died at sea in the Second World War, and unless he was John McElhagga of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who died in 1916, I am at a loss to know to whom this refers. If any reader can enlighten us, we would be most grateful.

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