Seven members of the Steele family from Barrack Street enlisted and are included in the Newry Roll of Honour. Photograph: Columba O'HareSeven members of the Steele family listed as from Barrack Street in Newry enlisted in the First World War and their names are just some of the 867 Newry people included in Newry Museums recent acquisition - Newry's Roll of Honour.

It brings up a slight conundrum though as when checked the Census records from the 1901 and 1911 Census it doesn't mention any Steeles in Barrack Street so they possibly moved in the following years? Another possibility is that Steeles are mentioned from Erskine Place and include Andrew who was 13 in 1911 though probably too young to enlist and  Alexander who was 23.

The Roll of Honour was donated to the Museum by the Newry Branch of the Royal British Legion.

The document records the names, addresses, ranks and service numbers of 867 Newry people who joined the Army and Navy.

The list of names was compiled in 1915 by the Clerk of Newry Urban District Council, William Cronin, with the help of local members of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

Beautifully decorated with an illuminated cover featuring the Allied Flags and Newry’s Coat of Arms.

The Beautifully decorated Roll of Honour has an illuminated cover featuring the Allied Flags and Newry’s Coat of Arms.

It was unveiled in April 1915 by the Chairman of Council, Hugh John McConville, who told the crowded Town Hall: “This will be treasured as the most interesting record in the annals of our town.”

The Frontier Sentinel newspaper described the occasion as “one of immense importance, cordiality and enthusiasm, with every class and creed represented at that inspiring function"

Fr F. J. O’Hare, CC, declared: “It is satisfactory to know that the frontier town has won some prominence, having sent to the colours a larger proportion of its sons than any other town“

The Vicar of St Mary’s parish, Reverend Swanzy stated: “As a native of Newry, I am proud that my town holds the premier place in the whole of Ireland, for the number of its sons who have gone out to face the foe “

This historic evening ended with “a rendering of `A Nation Once Again` and `God Save the King.” 

Speaking about the donation, the Deputy Mayor of Newry and Mourne District Council, Councillor David Taylor said, ‘The Museum is delighted to have received this important document from the Royal British Legion in Newry, which will be an important and useful resource for local people who want to find out more about family members who served in this conflict. The Roll of Honour vividly illustrates the town of Newry’s role in the First World War, a conflict which claimed the lives of 16 million people. This document will be used by the Museum to explore various narratives relating to the 1914 – 1918 period including politics, economy and the changing role of women in society’.

Noreen Cunningham, Museum Curator, stated that; ‘preliminary research by Museum staff has uncovered tales of sacrifice and loss. Amongst those listed include Edward Holden, Principal of the Municipal Technical College (now the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre). As well a the Steele Family three members of the Doran family, Boat Street also enlisted.

Pin It


Please consider supporting


FOLLOW NEWRY.IE require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.