Past Events



The Society has made efforts to acknowledge the dedication and bravery of those people from the Hillsborough area who have served in the Armed Forces. On 28th June 2006 we held a Service at Hillsborough War Memorial to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.  A moving tribute was made by a member of the society, and the names of those who lost their lives were read out by four young people. The event was also marked by a Military Exhibition in The Fort, music by Drumlough Pipe Band and the Territorial Army Band, and a talk on the Battle of the Somme.

 Roy Boreland Leads a Tribute at the War Memorial

         Harry Shortt Lays a wreath on behalf of the Society at the War Memorial

Margaret Burnside Lays a wreath on behalf of the Royal British Legion

  Society members  and the late Norman Johnston at the Exhibition

This event was followed up by a similar Exhibition in The Market House, The Square, Hillsborough, in November 2007.  Local schools visited the event and participated in a painting competition.



So great was the interest in the event, that there were many calls for it to be continued annually.


                                Lest We Forget’ - November 2007 Exhibition photographs

The  Society held  a similar Exhibition in November 2008, and our  recent  one  on 6th and 7th  November  2009.  Voluntary contributions received at all these Exhibitions were donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Society members Jackie McQuillan, Jackie Wylie, Harry Shortt, Colin Lillie and 
Pearl Finn present voluntary contributions to Vera Jellie of the Royal British Legion for the Poppy Appeal.

The Society also held an Exhibition in the Hangers occupied by The Ulster Aviation Society at the former Long Kesh site on 24th May 2008. This was in recognition of the role played by the many airmen during the Second World War.  The many aircraft on display by the Aviation Society provided a fascinating backdrop to the Exhibition.  A further Exhibition was held here on 22nd August 2009 at the request of the Aviation Society to mark the centenary flight of Harry Ferguson.



In June 2008 several members of the Hillsborough Old Guard went on a

World War 1 battlefield tour along with a group from Bessbrook. The Group visited many of the British and Commonweath War Cementries in both France and Belgium and sought to find many of the graves and memorials of those from the Hillsborough area who had fallen during thr Great War.

                                              Peace Tower  

  36th Ulster Division Memorial

10th Irish Division Memorial

16th Irish Division Memorial 

         Theipval Memorial

 Ulster Tower
 Vimmy Ridge Canadian Memorial 
Menin Gates Ypres

   Trenches at Sanctuary Woods


The memorial at Martinsart and nearby Cemetary was of particular interest to our members as it Commemorates 23 members of 11 Platoon 'C' Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (1st Co Down Volunteers) who were killed by an enemy shell on 28th June 1916 ,14 of them are buried in a mass grave in the nearby Cemetary.Many of those killed in this incident were from the Hillsborough area and their sacrifice was remembered by the laying of a wreath by Hillsborough Old Guard members.

 Hillsborough Old Guard Members lay a Wreath At Martinsart Memorial



 Headstones above the Mass Grave



In order to glean information and photographs for inclusion in the proposed Hillsborough book, the Society invited local people to a series of Reminiscence Evenings in 2008.  The evenings consisted of slide shows and quizzes, followed by a series of talks on local history.  A light supper and the provision of music ended the evenings.  So popular did the evenings prove that they were followed up with more during 2009. The Society has been requested that they continue in the future.


Our  long  awaited   Book was Launched  in the Village Centre Hillsborough on 4th  December 2009 and once again was very well supported  by  the local community with  a great turnout. The evening started with our Chairman  Harry Shortt giving an insight  into   both   the   work   and  the  aspirations  of  the Hillsborough old guard. Member Simon Walker then went on to explain   a   bit   more   about   the  concept and  reasons  for producing   the   Book  intitled  Beloved   of  My  Heart ,  Little Hillsborough Town and to the origins of the title.

The book was then Launched By Our Secretary Pearl Finn who Presented the first copy to Margaret Johnston, wife of the Late Norman Johnston a founder member of the Hillsborough Old Guard to Whom the Book is dedicated.


                                                                           A Great Turnout

Pearl Finn Presents Margaret Johnston with the first copy of the Book


Councillor Allan Ewart (Lisburn Mayor) presents Pearl Finn (Secretary of Hillsborough Old    Guard) with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her work in the publication of the book entitled ‘Beloved Of My Heart - Little Hillsborough Town’.  Looking on is Harry Shortt (Chairman of Hillsborough Old Guard).

Members Of Hillsborough Old Guard at the Book Launch



The Mayor,Councillor Allan Ewart Hosted a civic reception for members of the Hillsborough Old Guard at the Lagan Valley Island in appreciation of our Book 'Beloved Of My Heart - Little Hillsborough Town' . A copy of the book signed by all the Old Guard Members along with two copies of the uniform buttons of the Fort Warders made by the Old Guard were presented to the Mayor. The Mayor presented the Old Guard with a Lisburn City Council Plauqe and a piece of Tyrone Crystal .

We are grateful to Lisburn City Council for their continued financial support towards the activities of the Society.