Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.

It was 10.30 that night, the 24th of April 1914, when the Mountjoy II steamed alongside the landing-stage at Larne, where she had been eagerly awaited for a couple of hours.  The voyage of adventure was over.  Fred Crawford, with the able and zealous help of Andrew Agnew, had accomplished the difficult and dangerous task he had undertaken, and a service had been rendered to Ulster not unworthy to rank beside the breaking of the boom across the Foyle by the first and more renowned Mountjoy.


[87] Annual Register, 1914, p. 1.



The arrangements that had been made for the landing and disposal of the arms when they arrived in port were the work of an extremely efficient and complete organisation.  In the previous summer Captain Spender, it will be remembered, had been appointed to a position on Sir George Richardson’s staff which included in its duties that of the organisation of transport.  A railway board, a supply board, and a transport board had been formed, on which leading business men willingly served; every U.V.F. unit had its horse transport, and in addition a special motor corps, organised in squadrons, and a special corps of motor-lorries were formed.

More than half the owners of motor-cars in Ulster placed their cars at the disposal of the motor corps, to be used as and when required.  The corps was organised in sections of four cars each, and in squadrons of seventeen cars each, with motor cyclist despatch-riders; a signalling corps of despatch-riders and signallers completed the organisation.  The lively interest aroused by the practice and displays of the last-mentioned corps did much to promote the high standard of proficiency attained by its “flag-waggers,” many of whom were women and girls.  In particular the signalling-station at Bangor gained a reputation which attracted many English sympathisers with Ulster to pay it a visit when they came to Belfast for the great Unionist demonstrations.

The despatch-riders on motor-cycles made the Ulster Council independent of the Post Office, which for very good reasons they used as little as possible.  Post-houses were opened at all the most important centres in Ulster, between which messages were transmitted by despatch-rider or signal according to the nature of the intervening country.  Along the coast of Down and Antrim the organisation of signals was complete and effective.  The usefulness of the despatch-riders’ corps was fully tested and proved during the Curragh Incident, when news of all that was taking place at the Curragh was received by this means two or three times a day at the Old Town Hall in Belfast, where there was much information of what was going on that was unknown at the Irish Office in London.

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Ulster's Stand For Union from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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