County Fermanagh War Memorial

The County Fermanagh War Memorial (also known as the Enniskillen War Memorial) stands in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It was originally constructed to commemorate the men of the town killed during the First World War, particularly those serving with the local regiments, the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. It was later altered to also commemorate those killed in the Second World War.

World Wars memorial, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland
County Fermanagh War Memorial
United Kingdom

Front of the war memorial. At the back left is the Orange Hall and at right the Clinton Centre.
For British military dead of the First and Second World Wars. Also those civilians killed in the 1987 IRA bombing at this site.
Unveiled 24 October 1922


Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
“Our Glorious Dead”
Statistics source: [1]

The memorial was the site of an IRA bombing on 8 November 1987, during a Remembrance Sunday ceremony. Photographs of the war memorial in the aftermath became emblematic of this stage of The Troubles and the site was visited shortly afterwards by British prime minister Margaret Thatcher for a rescheduled remembrance ceremony. The memorial was renovated in 1990-91 and a new section added to commemorate those killed in the bombing. The memorial has been visited by the Irish Taoiseach on Remembrance Sunday each year since 2012.

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The County Fermanagh War Memorial Committee was formed after the First World War and in 1920 sought designs for a war memorial by a notification posted in the Architect and Building News. The estimated cost was stated to be £1,500 and the deadline for entries was 20 November.[2] A winning design had been chosen by early 1921.[3]

The memorial was built by Gaffin & Co.,[1] whose showroom, the Carrara Marble and Granite Works, was at 63 Regent Street in London.[4][5] The main figure is of a British First World War soldier, in peaked cap with a rifle, resting on arms reversed.[1] This was cast in bronze from a sculpture by a Northern Irish artist.[who?] The artist could not find a suitable photograph to work from so based the soldier on a painting by William Gibbes Mackenzie displayed at Belfast City Hall, which shows Thomas McNeilly of the Royal Irish Rifles standing at the temporary cenotaph erected in Belfast for the city’s Peace Day commemoration on 9 August 1919.[6][7]

The sculpture stood on a limestone plinth is engraved with the phrase “OUR GLORIOUS DEAD” and the years “1914-1918”. The plinth also showed the names, ranks, decorations and regiments of 612 local men killed in the war and a coat of arms featuring Enniskillen Castle, which is associated with the local 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers regiments. The stepped base has a bronze depiction of a crossed sword and rifle, reflecting the roles of the two regiments (cavalry and infantry).[1] The monument was unveiled by the last Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Edmund FitzAlan-Howard, 1st Viscount FitzAlan of Derwent on 24 October 1922.[1] At the unveiling wreaths were laid by Catholic and Protestant war orphans and an honour guard was provided by the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Lincolnshire Regiment and the Royal Horse Artillery.[8][9] Four senior non-commissioned officers from the Fusiliers stood guard at each corner of the memorial during the unveiling ceremony.[9]

Following the Second World War the dates “1939-1945” and the names of the dead from that war (including those who served with the Merchant Navy) added to the plinth.[1][10]

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