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Watch the Three Cheers Videos Below in 5 Parts

Gardiner S. Mitchell - Part 1

Author, Gardiner S Mitchell, explains the reason for the book and the context for
The Derrys project as part of the Maiden City Festival.

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Eamon Baker - Part 2

Eamon Baker talks about the book he is editing for Yes Publications which explores the human cost of the First World War with respect to the local community and the importance of remembering.

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James Lecky - Part 3

James Lecky introduces the short Playhouse Production of
"Three Cheers for The Derrys!".

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A Playhouse Production - Part 4

The Playhouse Production of "Three Cheers for The Derrys!" a short piece based on the book of the same name by Gardiner Mitchell. The three young men in this performance would be about the same age as those who joined up and served in The Great War: the three are; Ciaran McCallion, Gareth Know and Eoin Gillespie.

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Josh Goforth "Far Across the Sea"- Part 5

The Maiden City Festival's "The Derrys" programme, hosted by the Playhouse Theatre, has in mind those who fought and died or were scarred in World War 1. Josh brings to mind ALL those who leave to go "Far across the sea" then and now. Our thoughts are with all those fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and any theatre of conflict and those at home: where loved-ones are parted.

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Three Cheers for the Derrys! book cover

Read the Book

Seventeen years ago, YES! Publications, published the local classic "Three Cheers for The Derrys!" a history of the 10th (Derry) Battalion based on the recollections of veterans Jim Donaghy and Leslie Bell. It is a moving story offering a startlingly honest account of the suffering, hardship, comradeship and bravery of young men who where known as the 10th (Derry) Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Written by Gardiner S. Mitchell, the book was an instant success, selling rapidly and gaining critical applause from military and historical enthusiasts for its first-hand, realistic, and non-sanitised testimonies of once naive young men who swiftly matured in the battle-hardened regions of France and Belgium. Demand for a reprint has now been more than adequately satisfied. The author has completely revised and enlarged the original text, and added many digitally enhanced photographs, some never seen by the general public before. The Roll of Honour, contained at the back of the first edition of the book, has been totally updated by English World War 1 aficionado, Robert Elliott and will undoubtedly be a beneficial tool for anyone seeking information on relatives who served with the 10th Inniskillings in the Great War. Arguably, the greatest addition to the new version of "Three Cheers" has been the recollections of forgotten 10th Battalion veteran, James Monteith. Mr Monteith served as a runner with the 10th Battalion the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Get your copy of Three Cheers for "the Derrys!" at
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Three Cheers for "the Derrys!"

The book by Gardiner S. Mitchell "Three Cheers for the Derrys!" tells the story of men from around Londonderry who went to War 1914-1918. In association with the Playhouse Theatre, the Maiden City Festival explored the story of The Derrys in a number of ways. First, a brief introduction by the author to "The Derrys". The book was first published in 1991, and the interest generated by the story resulted in the publication of a second edition. The book has the benefit of reminisces of two old soldiers, Jim Donaghy from Londonderry and Leslie Bell from Moneymore. The story is that of 'The Derrys', the 10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Our video provides a short introduction presented by the author at the launch of the project in the Playhouse, though this was followed during Festival week by a full multi-media presentation. The Launch also drew attention to how the interest in the story of The Derrys sparked wider interest in the history of the First World War, and how that led to interest in the names of the Fallen on the City's War Memorial.

Throughout Festival week, a number of young men explored the story within the book and on the Friday of the Festival week, these workshops provided a dramatic interpretation the books themes. It is a distinction of this project that the young men from Londonderry who explored the story of The Derrys are of the same age as those who volunteered for the Great War.

The week's project is wrapped up in a song first performed at the launch of the project, by Josh Goforth. He had been thinking for some time of writing a song about soldiers serving abroad, with contemporary conflicts in mind. When he was a lad he would ask his grandfather about time served in World War Two. When he asked his grandfather where he fought, the answer was 'Far Across the Sea'. The words seem as apt for our own generation as it was for his grandfather's.

The Festival is hopeful that the project started in 2009 is the beginning of a collaboration with the Playhouse that will result in a production of a play based on "The Derrys" story, sometime in the future.

The Siege Heroes Trail

Some of the most important events in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, following Parliament’s invitation to William of Orange to replace King James II, were the battles that took place in Ireland as James tried to regain his throne. The Siege of Londonderry was central to that story, remembered as much for the fortitude of the besieged as the war of which it was part.

The short guide to the Walled City is a journey along the Siege Heroes trail, starting at the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and moving anti-clockwise around the famous Walls. It also provides a history of the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry and an explanation of the events that are part of the Apprentice Boys Annual Commemorations.

Visit the Siege Heroes Trail Website to find out more...
A Tribute to William Love

This year's Maiden City Festival acknowledged the contribution made by William Love (1908-1966) to band music with a special Tribute concert which is now available online. Born in the Fountain, Londonderry, William Love's tunes are familiar: Moore Street, Senior Service, Prince of the Realm. Glasgow's Black Skull Corps of Fife & Drums played a series of his compositions and arrangements as Tribute to William Love, Londonderry's premier composer of flute band music.

Visit the William Love Website to find out more...
The Siege Story

The story begins at the door of the Cathedral as an excited young apprentice SPIKE tells of having just shut the city's gates on the advancing troops of King James... The Siege Story is a series of five monologues, where the audience follows the actors through the story in a linear narrative; this is known as a 'promenade' performance. Each performance explores a different aspect of the Siege Story 1688-1689. The story is of the young apprentice, of the military man, of the people, of the church, and of life and love in war. The story is told within St Columb's Cathedral, which played a key role in the Siege and within which the visitor will find many items that date from this period. The performance starts at the main entrance door of the St Columb s Cathedral, moves through the hallways and aisles of this historic building, and lasts approximately 40 minutes. While we provide the performance online here, there is nothing quite like following this history play in its historic setting. Make sure you visit our live performances next year during the Maiden City Festival.

Visit the Siege Story Website to find out more...
A Tribute to Liverpool

The ships that came to relieve the siege of the city of Londonderry (1688-1689) departed from the quaysides of Liverpool. At the time of the Siege, Londonderry was a significant port to the North Atlantic - Belfast was a late developer. So when it was time to decide on a themed band evening Liverpool fitted the bill perfectly, and the headline performance from the Imperial Corps of Drums seemed perfect billing. The selection of tunes on this site were performed as part the 2010 Maiden City Festival Liverpool themed evening, held in the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, 12 August 2010. Each tune has a connection to Liverpool and the combined selection brought a definite Mersey beat to the Foyle.

Visit the Tribute to Liverpool Website to find out more...