THE MOBILISATION OF THE ULSTER VOLUNTEER FORCE
Report from The Belfast Evening Telegraph, April 25th, 1914
Richhill company mobilised at 8-30 p.m., at the jam factory. The men carried provisions for 24 hours, and wore full equipment. Batons were also worn, and pickets were thrown out along the Belfast Road, forming a chain of outposts for several miles on the Portadown side, which were constantly in touch with each other, and were finally withdrawn at 11-30. The police accompanied the Volunteers, and patrolled the road held by the pickets. No information as to the scheme could be obtained from those in command or others. Captain Allen, commanding the company, motored along the line of outposts daring the operations.
SOUTH DOWN VOLUNTEERS.
Orders for mobilisation of the South Down Regiment were received at Newry yesterday evening about five o’clock, and at eight o’clock the three Newry companies—about 300 strong—assembled at the drill hall, Sugar Island, the force being in charge of Mr. J. F. Agnew, acting commander, assisted by Company Commanders Mr. J. H. Moore Boyle and Mr. Frederick Harris. Each man wore his haversack, bandolier, and belt, and carried a day’s rations. The transport service, despatch riders, and the general turnout created a profound impression amongst the spectators. The Volunteers proceeded along the Belfast and Armagh roads, after which they made for the open country. They did not return until 2 a.m., and they were not dismissed until four hours later.
During the night Mr. W. H. B. Moorhead, J.P., major of the battalion, visited the various company centres of the battalion, where he found everything in apple-pie order and the men imbued with a spirit of keen determination. He expressed himself as highly pleased with the turnout of the battalion. Everything, he added, betokened a state of readiness and high efficiency.
The Third Battalion of the Armagh Regiment, consisting of eight companies, received order to mobilise at their drill centres at 8 o’clock on Friday night, and remained so until 4 o’clock on Saturday morning. The Tandragee Company mobilised in the Manchester Hall, and during the night detachments were sent out. Despatches were transmitted from headquarters to the several companies, and the mobilisation was considered most satisfactory by the commanding officer, 90 per cent. having attended.
THE BRAID DISTRICT.
The Volunteers of the Braid district assembled at Buckna and Skerry Orange Halls, under the charge of Commanders Mr. John Patrick, J.P., Mr. Henry Kelly, R.D.C., and Mr. Joseph Hunter.
The mobilisation was very smartly carried out, and the Volunteers were later in the night joined by contingents from Craigywarren and Roseview, under the charge of Mr. Jack Stoddart. They also were engaged in the manoeuvres until an early hour this morning.
A mobilisation test was carried out with commendable alacrity at Whitehead last night, by the Whitehead and Islandmagee Companies of the Ulster Volunteer Force. The following officers were in charge:—Company Commander, Tom Adamson; Half-Company Commanders, D. R. Scott, and Fred G. Cook, Lieutenant and Adjutant J. K. Patrick; Staff-Sergeant John Greenfield, and Quartermaster Sergeant T. J. May. The Islandmagee men were in charge of Commander Browne. A large crowd had congregated at the Parochial Hall when the Volunteers paraded at eight o’clock, and as they briskly marched off in two detachments they presented a fine and serviceable bearing which was favourably commented upon. The men did not return to their headquarters until an early hour this morning.