A new book highlighting the sacrifice of members of the Orange and Black Institutions from Co Tyrone during the Great War has been launched in the county.
‘For King and Country’ is the first of a trilogy of publications by Killyman and District Cultural Group marking the decade of centenaries, and which commences with the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.
The book primarily details the involvement of locals from Dungannon and the surrounding district during the First World War.
It was launched at a special event, attended by invited guests, at Ranfurly House in the town last week.
Local historian and author Robert Butler said his work would highlight the bravery of those “who answered the call to serve King and Empire which would see men and women from the area take part in all spheres of battle across the globe”.
“This is their story, from the beginning of the Great War, culminating with the Battle of the Somme where so many fell and those who would fight on, die, and survive in undaunting service,” the Orangeman said.
“The book is both interesting and historical with lots of battle details, local involvement and the goings on at home while the war was in progress.
“It really is amazing see how the ‘Tyrones’ and indeed those from the Dungannon area were held in high esteem as a fighting force.
“The book also shows the involvement of the many soldiers connected with the Orange and Black Institutions, many of whom were members when they enlisted and the many who would join the organisations on their return from war.”
Mr Butler explained that the next instalment will cover the period from the aftermath of the Somme battle to the end of the War and the third book would cover the homecoming and the formation of Northern Ireland and beyond.
He added: “It’s a labour of love which takes a great amount of time and research but I have the assistance of local men Derek Gallagher and Trevor McKay, both of whom also had relatives that served in the Great War, to lighten the load and make these books both interesting and successful.”
• ‘For King and Country – Sarajevo to the Somme’ is available to purchase from the Grand Lodge shop at Schomberg House, Belfast, costing £10.