Video: Castleton Lanterns at NI War Memorial

NI War Memorial hope to uncover identities of unknown soldiers featured in new photographic exhibition

Do you have a relative who fought in the First World War who may have been a member of the Castleton Church congregation in Belfast? If so, Karen O'Rawe and the good people at the NI War Memorial want to hear from you.

O'Rawe is project manager of the Castleton Lanterns WWI Project, which aims to put names to the faces of those men, and boys, featured in a series of lantern slides recently discovered in Alexandra Church, Belfast.

The photographs were taken by well-known Belfast photographer Alex R Hogg, who arranged them into a slideshow projection for the benefit of the families. Relatives of the soldiers were invited to a screening of the slides on December 16, 1918.

All of the 77 photographs are currently on display in the NI War Memorial on Talbot Street, as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, though they will remain on show until May 31. Many of the slides feature images of two soldiers – of the 137 men in total, only 44 of the have been positively identified.

In the video above, curator Ciaran Elizabeth Doran talks more about the origins of the photographs, the project as a whole and the museum's intentions to 'keep the story alive' until more of the soldiers are named.

'We very much hope that this exhibition will attract people from north Belfast, and Belfast as a whole, who may help us to discover who the remainder of these men were. The Great War is a vital part of Belfast's history, and the photographs were so painstakingly put together by Alex R Hogg, that it would be a real shame if the list of names was not one day completed.'

Visit the Castleton Lanterns WWI Project website for more information. Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival continues until May 11.

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