‘Ballycastle Heroes’ book chronicles WW1 fallen

Robert Thompson pictured at Ballycastle War Memorial.INBM21-11 271JC
Robert Thompson pictured at Ballycastle War Memorial.INBM21-11 271JC

BUSHMILLS historian Robert Thompson has been working hard once again and has produced the latest in his series of books commemorating those from north Antrim and beyond who died in World War One.

Thanks to his efforts the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in ‘The Great War’ lives on.

And indeed Robert has ensured the stories of many whose names don’t even feature on War Memorials.

Robert has already penned eight other books and in book nine about servicemen from Ballycastle, Ballintoy and the Glens, entitled ‘Ballycastle Heroes 1914-1918’, he has again gone into exceptional levels of detail with a 162-page production.

Robert’s other books in his Heroes series take in Bushmills, Ballymoney, Portrush, Coleraine, Kilrea, Portstewart, Inishowen and Garvagh & Aghadowey.

In the introduction to the ‘Ballycastle Heroes’, Robert says: ‘I had been thinking of researching the War Memorial in Ballycastle for many years but had always put it off and did another one. Now that I have all the other War Memorials done there is no alternative but get on with it.

“One of the reasons for the delay was the number of names missing from the memorial in Ballycastle and the fact that no memorial exists to remember the men from Ballintoy ot Cushendun and Cushendall who lost their lives.

“Also there were men washed ashore from shipwrecks who were not remembered there either. They all needed to be included. Many of the Ballycastle families appear to have died out or left the district but those that I did find have been very helpful and could not do enough.’

In the book Robert gives a history and details of many of those who died during World War One.

There is great detail in the book about the families of those who were killed and intricate reports of some of the battles.

There is a liberal sprinkling of photos of some of those who died and pictures of graveyard headstones.

There is much detail in the book including the exact locations of the graves of the fallen in the large war cemeteries in Europe.

Robert told the Times: “I started doing these books over 20 years ago and they are a labour of love. I have been able to use the internet, newspapers and church records to build up a full picture of those who died.”

If you would like to obtain a copy of ‘Ballycastle Heroes’ contact Robert at 9 Riverside Road, Bushmills, BT57 8TP; phone 02820732875 or email robert@riversideroad.freeserve.co.uk