Group from Ballymena T.A., 1953
A minor landmark for myself - this is the 400th blog I have written for the McIlhagga Clan. But this month sees a much more important landmark - Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee. I have searched in vain for a clan member who is taking part in either of the two great events in the UK this year, the Olympics and the Jubilee. I am not a great collector of artefacts to commemorate royal events, though I have found a booklet outlining all the events around the Queen's Coronation, and I do have a set of coasters made to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, to the best of my knowledge unique because they were the only item produced with the Scottish Crown as the central design. The maker told me it was chosen by the Duke of Edinburgh.
However, a clan member in Canada has sent me the important photograph above. It is of her father, John McIlhagga, taking part in the Queen's Coronation in 1953. John, born 1909, was one of five men from the Ballymena Territorial Army unit who were chosen to stand guard at that event. John is the second from the left in the above picture. John had served in World War 2 with the Royal Ulster Rifles and served in North Africa. His daughter thinks that at the Coronation their post was at Hyde Park Corner. John was the second son of James Spence McIlhagga and Elizabeth McGrillis. James was still alive at the Coronation and must have been very proud of his son. John lived until 1975 and his wife Jane until 1998.