‘Is Boys’, written and spoken by Ulster-Scots poet and writer Charlie Gillen, is a tribute to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division in World War I. The piece reflects the period from August in 1914 when many believed the war would be over by Christmas. However, the devastating reality and horror of a long trench was to go on until November 1918.
The closing sequence is the Ulster Tower in Thiepval, France, erected in 1921, which is a copy of Scrabo Tower in the Clandeboye Estate near Bangor in County Down, Northern Ireland.
Many of the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division trained in the estate before being sent to the front.
The inscription on the memorial reads:
‘This tower is dedicated to the Glory of God in the grateful memory of the officers and men of the 36th (Ulster) Division and the Sons of Ulster in other forces who laid down their lives in the Great War and all of their comrades in arms who, by Divine Grace were spared to testify to their glorious deeds’.
‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.’
(From ‘From the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon)