Over the past couple of years, Ballinamallard Historical Society has been carrying out a project to describe Ballinamallard’s contribution to the Great War and the effect of the war on the village. They have produced a draft report which will be the basis for further consultation.

From their research, it was discovered that over 170 men from the village served in the Great War. In total 47 men were killed, eight on the first day of the Battle of the Somme alone. Half of the men served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, one sixth with other Irish regiments, such as the Connaught Rangers and the Irish Guards, and one third with a wide range of other units ranging from the North Russian Rifles to the King’s African Rifles. As many young men had emigrated to Canada, a large number went to the Front with Canadian regiments.

As well as listing those who were killed in action, and whose memorials are documented by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Ballinamallard Historical Society are also trying to identify men who served and returned home. Given the wide range of units in which the men served, the information is more patchy.

The Society have been fortunate that local people have been able to help and are keen to draw on their memories. A workshop will be held in the Methodist Hall in Ballinamallard on Thursday November 22 and anyone interested is invited to participate. To book a place, contact the Society on ballinamallardhs@gmail.com.