Friday 7 November 2014

The Boys from East Belfast: RCBL's November Archive

A short WW1 film, The Boys from East Belfast, will be screened for the first time at St Mark’s, Holywood Road, Dundela, Co Down on Monday 10 November at 6pm. This is a public event and there is no need to book.

The specially commissioned documentary focuses on the discovery of letters written by ten soldiers from East Belfast who served at the Western Front. It is a collaboration between the Representative Church Body Library (RCBL) in Dublin and the Church of Ireland Historical Centenaries Working Group who have produced it to coincide with this year's Remembrance commemorations.

Filmed and directed by Tim Hood, The Boys from East Belfast re-enacts the full story of how a small collection of letters written by ten soldiers who were also parishioners of the Church of Ireland parish of Dundela ended up in an old tea chest in Kilmore See House, and their subsequent transfer for permanent safekeeping in the RCBL in Churchtown, Dublin. There, in 2014, a group of local historians from East Belfast, who have traced the lives of the letter writers, viewed them for the first time, almost 100 years after they had been written.

The public screening on Monday evening will also be an opportunity to hear from Dr Susan Hood of the RCBL, who discovered the letters, and from the East Belfast historians. The event will be part of a range of Remembrance events taking place over several days at St Mark’s, Dundela, and the letters themselves will be on display there during that period.

From Tuesday 11 November, the film will be available for free viewing via the Church of Ireland website as the RCBL’s November ‘Archive of the Month’.