A steamship’s role in smuggling thousands of German guns into the north of Ireland in 1914 is to be documented and shared as part of a wider project to promote understanding of the First World War.
The SS Clyde Valley was bought by unionists and used to land around 20,000 rifles from Imperial Germany at Larne as the original Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) prepared to resist by force any move to introduce home rule.
A few months later war broke out and thousands of UVF members would go on to join the British Army to fight Germany, as the home rule issue was temporarily shelved by the European conflict.
A community group from Larne is one of five organisations from across Northern Ireland to benefit from £100,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF) being distributed ahead of the centenary of the start of the war.
The HLF support will also see Newry and Mourne District Council receive almost £40,000 to explore the impact of the war on the area through the creation of a photographic archive and educational events.
In Tandragee, £10,000 will enable the local British Legion to research the stories of the soldiers named on the town’s war memorial.
Almost £22,000 will go to creating a database of soldiers from Ballymoney who fought – an archive that will be used as an educational and research tool.
The Unionist Centenary Committee has been awarded £15,500 to develop a programme of exhibitions to explore the key events of the period 1913-14 from a series of differing perspectives including unionist, nationalist, female and trade unionist.
Further information is available at www.hlf.org.uk