FOR EXEMPLARY BRAVERY
“… a ‘must have’ for the medal enthusiast and student of the better aspects of human nature. The author is to be congratulated on a most remarkable and valuable work.”
Professor Bernard de Neumann
In 1974 the Queen’s Gallantry Medal was instituted to replace awards for gallantry in the Order of the British Empire for actions not quite meriting the award of the George Medal. Between its institution and December 2013, it was awarded on 1,044 occasions, which includes 38 posthumous awards and 19 second awards. You can read more about this unique history of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal on the For Exemplary Bravery website.
“I cannot praise this work enough, it must form a great example for others to follow. I suggest that everyone gets a copy, particularly those interested in Ulster in the Great War.”
Bob Wyatt – Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association. No. 97. May 2013.
Blacker’s Boys tells the First World War history of the 9th (Service) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers) (County Armagh), one of thirteen infantry battalions raised in Ireland for 36th (Ulster) Division. You can see more about this comprehensive history, read reviews, and see updates, additional information and photographs that have been contributed since publication on the Blacker’s Boys website.
While in command of 9th (Service) Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers), Lieutenant Colonel Stewart Blacker wrote to his wife almost every day. The letters were relatively uncensored and provide a fascinating insight into the life of a commanding officer in the front line and of the actions of his Battalion. Between 1921 and 1924 extracts from his letters were reproduced in the magazine of Seagoe Parish Church, Portadown in chapters titled ‘With The ‘Ninth’ In France‘.
In this on-line project, the letters, with added explanatory footnotes and illustrations, were re-published 100 years after they were first written. The first letter appeared on 3 October 2015 and the last on 13 March 2017. The project featured as part of the BBC’s Voices 16.