Somme Walking Tour 2017

Join Jason Burke (co-ordinator of the East Belfast & the Great War Research Project) on Saturday 1st July 2017 for a Battle of the Somme themed walking tour of inner East Belfast.

East Belfast made a colossal contribution to the Great War, both in terms of manpower and industrial prowess.  To this day the Battle of the Somme (1916) is a focal point of East Belfast’s Great War memory.  The 36th (Ulster) Division played a key role in the opening day of the Somme offensive, among them were the 8th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles, affectionately known as ‘Ballymacarrett’s Own’.  The 8th suffered heavy casualties on 1st/2nd July 1916 and are remembered with pride by the people of East Belfast.

However, this is only a small portion of the story.  East Belfast men served in a range of units besides the 8th Rifles at the Somme and, indeed, many of them served until the end of the battle in July 1916.

This Battle of the Somme walking tour of East Belfast will include the nationalist Short Strand where you will hear of a man from Madrid Street who (allegedly) wore his Orange sash as he went over the top, and the story of the Rooney brothers; two Catholic lads who served in the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Tickets for the tour on Saturday 1st July can be obtained here:

For group bookings during July/August please email



East Belfast & The Great War Research Project