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Call out for Strabane war dead to be featured in Alley exhibition

24 August 2018

Families in the Strabane area who had family killed during the First World War and want to be part of a unique exhibition taking place at the Alley Theatre, are being urged to come forward.

To mark the centenary of the signing of the Armistice, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Heritage and Museum Service in partnership with the Alley Theatre in Strabane are hosting a very special installation, that will acknowledge all those killed in the war from the area.

Adrian Beattie from Derry City and Strabane District Council is looking for assistance from the local community to put the installation together and urging anyone who has an image of an ancestor who was killed during the First World War, and who wants it to be included in the installation to make contact with him.

He explained the rationale behind the exhibition. “. On Thursday August 27 1914 Edward Coyle, from Urney near Strabane, became a statistic. He became one of the first men from the Strabane area, to be killed in the First World War. Over the next 4 years he was followed by over 350 men and boys from around this area in the “War to end wars.” For the first time we have gathered as complete a record as has ever been attempted, of every fatality from the area on a day by day timeline.

“We hope the installation, though stark in its simplicity, will try and give substance to these names, who after a century have become almost shadows, it reveals them as sons, brothers, fathers. Farmers, mill workers, mechanics, just ordinary people who fell a long, long way from home.  This installation is more than just a mute roll call, it is a story, telling of lives cut short and lives changed forever.”

For those interested in having their ancestors featured in the installation to take place in the Alley Theatre on 12 November, please contact Adrian Beattie directly at [email protected].