Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916


Here are some of the stories reported in the News Letter 100 years ago

Irish Concert

In London

[March 20]

Queen Alexandra, Princess Victoria, and Grand Duchess George of Russia attended an Irish concert on Saturday [March 18] at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in aid of the fund for free buffets for soldiers in London and Ireland.

There was a very large attendance, emerald green ribbons and shamrock being generally worn. The band gave a very fine rendering of Irish tunes. Lady Maud Warrender delighted the audience by singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”. Many titled ladies clad in green sold programmes in aid of the fund.

Death of Colonel Hill-Trevor

Bullet Through the Heart

[March 21]

A tragic and sensational discovery was made in the Ulster Club, Castle Place, Belfast, yesterday afternoon, when Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable Arthur Eustace Hill-Trevor, until recently Intelligence Officer of Belfast Garrison, was found dead in bed with a bullet wound through the heart, the circumstances pointing to suicide.

The deceased officer had been in bad health for some time past, and a few months ago underwent an operation for appendicitis. Restoration to his wonted condition of physical fitness was not effected as speedily as was anticipated, and yesterday morning he remained in bed, where he partook of breakfast. He sent word that he would not be able for his duties in connection with recruiting that day, and about eleven o’clock it was ascertained that he was still in bed and apparently all right.

Nothing further was noticed until ten past four yesterday afternoon, when he was found dead in bed with an automatic pistol at his right hand, a bullet having penetrated the heart and passed out the back. The clothing was saturated with blood, and death had evidently taken place a couple of hours earlier.

The tragedy naturally caused a profound sensation, not only in the Ulster Club but throughout the city.

SF Volunteers Arrested

Three Revolvers Seized

[March 22]

An alarming and sensational occurrence is reported to have taken place on Monday night last at Tullamore, King’s County.

A meeting of some sort was being held by the local Sinn Feiners in their rooms. Amongst those attending the meeting were a number of women, and while the proceedings were taking place a large crowd, hostile in nature, assembled outside and conveyed its disapproval of the Sinn Feiners by shouts and groans and also, it is alleged, in a more practical manner by throwing stones through the windows of the rooms.

Apparently some of the Sinn Fein Volunteers were “on guard” at the door and a scuffle took place between them and the demonstrators. The arrival of the police quieted matters for some time, but the crowd remained until the Sinn Feiners inside the building had completed their business.

The appearance of the besieged on leaving the building was the signal for another outburst of noise and stone-throwing, and it is alleged that the Sinn Feiners replied with several revolver shots.

The police cleared the crowd away. Their next action was to enter the Sinn Fein premises in search of firearms. Here they met with resistance, and several revolved shots were fired. One of the policemen, Sergeant Ahern, was hit in the shoulder and side. He was conveyed to the union hospital, where he lies in a precarious condition. County-Inspector Crane was hit on the cheek, and sustained slight wounds.

Four arrests were made, the prisoners all being Tullamore men and Sinn Fein Volunteers. Three revolvers were captured, one of which was an automatic.

Christianity And The War

[March 22]

Preaching in the Cooke Centenary Church on Sabbath evening, the Rev Dr Little, of Castlereagh, had for his 
subject “Christianity and the War”.

He said they had heard it said that Christianity had failed because it was not able to prevent this war, and they all had to acknowledge with shame and deep regret the sad fact that 1,900 years after the proclamation of “peace on earth and good will toward men” the world should be drenched with blood.

But the fault was not with Christianity: it lay rather with its professors. They had not as individuals and nations carried out the Master’s teaching on love, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. The spirit that was uppermost in the world before the outbreak of war was the very antithesis of the spirit of Christ and the Christian religion. Instead of love, forbearance and mutual trust they saw jealousy, hatred, envy, competition in raising armies and building navies – and the fountain head of all this had its centre in the German Empire.

The Spirit of Christ, which made for unity, good feeling, trust and love, became subordinate to the spirit of militarism, with its base gospel of hate, mistrust, bitterness and evil ambition. The sowing of this seed in Germany had produced a world harvest of unheard-of debauchery, cruelty, deceitful mess, slaughter and bloodshed.

Ulstermen On Salisbury Plain

March 22

The officers and men of the 30th Reserve Park, ASC, Ulster Division, who for some time past have been doing practically all the horse transport work at one of the training centres on Salisbury Plain, celebrated St Patrick’s Day by an athletic tournament and concert, and as it was the first holiday they had had for several months, one and all enjoyed themselves as only Irishmen can.

In the morning, intersection football matches were played and keenly fought games were the result. The afternoon was devoted to other sports, the events including tug-of-war, relay race, boot race, potato race, waggon pole race etc. The friendly rivalry between the four sections was again very much in evidence, and all the events were strongly contested.

In the evening a concert was held, and an excellent programme was given by the men of the company.

Fatal Fire in Belfast

Four Women Missing

[March 23]

A fire which broke out in Nelson Street, Belfast, yesterday afternoon had most tragic consequences. Four women who had been employed on the premises which were involved are reported to be missing, and it is feared that further inquiry will show an increase in the number, whilst no fewer than eleven other women and one man were injured, some of them seriously.

The outbreak originated in a four-storey building, of comparatively recent construction, belonging to Messrs O & T Gallagher Ltd, who carry on business on a very extensive scale, as waste and paper stock merchants.

Military Cross For

Belfast Officer

[March 24]

Lieutenant W T Lyons, 8th (Service) Battalion of the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), second son of Mrs Lyons, Valere, Rosetta Park, Belfast, has been awarded the Military Cross and promoted to the rank of captain for conspicuous gallantry in Flanders.

Before the war he was in the employment of the Ulster Linen Company, Dublin Road.

The engagement in which he won his distinction took place during the present month. During an attack on the enemy trenches the captain of the company was mortally wounded. Captain Lyons at once assumed command and led his men so brilliantly that the attack was thoroughly successful.

Captain Lyons’ late father will be remembered by many as superintendent of Cooke Centenary Sunday School.

Murder In

County Wicklow

[March 24]

A shocking murder was dicovered on Wednesday evening [March 22] near Dunlavin, Co Wicklow. The victim was an old age pensioner named Edward Jones.

From the marks found on the body it appeared that a blunt instrument had been used. The old man’s head had been battered in. The motive seems to have been robbery. Jones lived alone. No arrests have been made.