Great Minds and Innovations

Sir Allen McClay CBE

Sir Allen McClay CBE
Businessman and Philanthropist

Sir Allen McClay CBE was a businessman and philanthropist from Northern Ireland who founded Galen (later Warner Chilcott), a pharmaceutical company which was Northern Ireland's first one billion pound business. After resigning from Galen in 2001, he went on to form a second successful pharmaceutical company, the Almac Group.

Dr. McClay was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone in 1932 and was the youngest of six children.[3] He attended Cookstown High School and Belfast College of Technology (now Belfast Metropolitan College) later qualifying as a pharmacist in 1953 after apprenticeship.

In 1955, he joined Glaxo, where he worked for 13 years as a medical rep, before co-founding the company, Galen, with his friend and fellow Pharmacist turned medical rep Bertie Robinson in Craigavon in 1968. Sir Allen and Bertie Robinson shared many investments together including the Connors Chemists chain and Galen Research. Sir Allen left Galen, which produces contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy drugs, in 2001, having become unhappy with the company's direction after its London Stock Exchange flotation in 1997. McClay retired from Galen on 31 September, and the following day rented accommodation close to the site Galen occupied for what would become his second successful company, Almac Sciences. McClay purchased five divisions of Galen Holdings plc. and formed Almac in January 2002. Almac provides services including research & development and manufacturing to other pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. The company, whose turnover is £167m, employs more than 1500 people in Craigavon and has expanded into England, Scotland and the United States.

In 1973, McClay and Bertie Robinson invested in Connors Chemists, a pharmacy in Warrenpoint, which developed into a chain of branches across the UK managed by his brother Howard, and was sold to The Boots Company in 1998.

McClay established the McClay Trust in 1997, a charitable organisation which "support[s] research and development activities within" Queen's University Belfast. The trust has donated £20 million to the university, which has included sponsorship of PhD studentships at the university's Cancer Research centre. The trust also funded the £3.5m McClay Research Centre at the School of Pharmacy which opened in 2002, and contributed money to the building of the new University Library at Queen's, which opened in 2009 and is now named after McClay. Sir George Bain, a former vice-chancellor at Queen's, has described McClay as "the most significant philanthropist Northern Ireland has ever known". In recognition the university commissioned two portraits of McClay by local artist Ian Cumberland, one of which was gifted to his wife the other is on display in the Library.

McClay was reported by the 2009 Sunday Times Rich List to be Northern Ireland's sixth richest person, with his wealth estimated at £190 million. In 2009, he used his wealth to establish the McClay Foundation, a charitable trust focused on cancer research.

McClay received an OBE in 1994, followed by a CBE in 2000 for contributions to the pharmaceutical industry in Northern Ireland. In the New Year Honours List of 2006 he was made Knight Bachelor for services to business and charity.

McClay married his partner Heather Topping in 2009 in the United States. He had no children. He died on 12 January at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He had been receiving treatment for cancer.

Henry George "Harry" Ferguson

Henry George "Harry" Ferguson

Harry Ferguson was a mechanic and inventor from Northern Ireland. He is noted for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor and its three point linkage system, for being the first person on the island of Ireland to build and fly his own aeroplane, and for developing the first four-wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99.

Ferguson was born at Growell, near  Dromore, in County Down, the son of a farmer. In 1902, Ferguson went to work with his brother, Joe, in his bicycle and car repair business. While working there as a mechanic, he developed an interest in aviation, visiting airshows abroad. In 1904, he began to race motorcycles.

In the 1900s the young Harry Ferguson became fascinated with the newly emerging technology of powered human flight and particularly with the exploits of the Wright brothers, the American aviation pioneers who made the first plane flight in 1903 in North Carolina, USA.

The first person to accomplish powered flight in the UK was Alliot Verdon Roe in June 1908, who also flew an aeroplane of his own design, but this had not yet been achieved in Ireland. Ferguson began to develop a keen interest in the mechanics of flying and travelled to several air shows, including exhibitions in 1909 at Blackpool  and Rheims where he took notes of the design of early aircraft. Harry convinced his brother that they should attempt to build an aircraft at their Belfast workshop and working from Harry's notes, they worked on the design of a plane, the Ferguson monoplane.

After making many changes and improvements, they transported their new aircraft by towing it behind a car through the streets of Belfast up to Hillsborough Park to make their first attempt at flight. They were at first thwarted by propeller trouble but continued to make technical alterations to the plane. After a delay of nearly a week caused by bad weather, the Ferguson monoplane finally took off from Hillsborough on 31 December 1909. Harry Ferguson became the first Irishman to fly and the first Irishman to build and fly his own aeroplane.

After falling out with his brother over the safety and future of aviation Ferguson decided to go it alone, and in 1911 founded a company selling Maxwell,  Star and  Vauxhall cars and Overtime Tractors. Ferguson saw at first hand the weakness of having tractor and plough as separate articulated units, and in 1917 he devised a plough that could be rigidly attached to a Model T Ford car—the Eros, which became a limited success, competing with the Model F Fordson.

In 1917 Ferguson met Charles E. Sorensen  while Sorensen was in England scouting production sites for the Fordson tractor.[6] They discussed methods of hitching the implement to the tractor to make them a unit (as opposed to towing the implement like a trailer). In 1920 and 1921 Ferguson demonstrated early versions of his  three-point linkage on Fordsons at Cork and at Dearborn. Ferguson and Henry Ford  discussed putting the Ferguson system of hitch and implements onto Fordson tractors at the factory, but no deal was struck. At the time the hitch was mechanical. Ferguson and his team of longtime colleagues, including Willie Sands and Archie Greer, soon developed a hydraulic version, which was patented in 1926. After one or two false starts, Ferguson eventually founded the Ferguson-Sherman Inc., with Eber and George Sherman.

The new enterprise manufactured the Ferguson plough incorporating the patented "Duplex" hitch system mainly intended for the Fordson "F" tractor. Following several more years of development, Ferguson's new hydraulic version of the three-point linkage was first seen on his prototype Ferguson "Black", now in the Science Museum, Kensington, London. A production version of the "Black" was introduced in May 1936, made at one of the David Brown factories in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, and designated Ferguson Model A tractor. In 1938, Ferguson's interests were merged with those of David Brown junior to create the Ferguson-Brown Company.

In October 1938, Ferguson demonstrated his latest tractor to Henry Ford at Dearborn, and they made the famous "handshake agreement". Ferguson took with him his latest patents covering future improvements to the Ferguson tractor and it is these that led to the Ford-Ferguson 9N introduced to the world on 29 June 1939. The 1938 agreement intended that the Ferguson tractor should also be made in the UK at the Ford Ltd factory at Dagenham, Essex but Ford did not have full control at Dagenham and, while Ford Ltd did import US-made 9N/2Ns, Dagenham did not make any.

Henry Ford II, Ford's grandson, ended the handshake deal on 30 June 1947, following unsuccessful negotiations with Ferguson, but continued to produce a tractor, the 8N, incorporating Ferguson's inventions, the patents on almost all of which had not yet expired, and Ferguson was left without a tractor to sell in North America. Ferguson's reaction was a lawsuit demanding compensation for damage to his business and for Ford's illegal use of his designs. The case was settled out of court in April 1952 for just over $9 million. The court case cost him about half of that and a great deal of stress and ill health.

By 1952, most of the important Ferguson patents had expired, and this allowed Henry Ford II to claim that the case had not restricted Ford's activities too much. It follows that all the world's other tractor manufacturers could also use Ferguson's inventions, which they duly did. A year later Ferguson merged with Massey Harris to become Massey-Harris-Ferguson Co., later Massey Ferguson.

As a consequence of Dagenham's failure to make the tractors, Harry Ferguson made a deal with Sir John Black of the Standard Motor Company to refit their armaments factory at Banner Lane, Coventry. Production of the latest Ferguson tractor, the TE20, started in the autumn of 1946, over 20,800 TEs being built by the end of 1947. To fill the gap in Ferguson's sales in the US, thousands of TEs were shipped over from England.

Production of a US version, the TO20, started at a new plant, owned by Harry Ferguson Inc, in October 1948, leaving the UK plant to supply the rest of the world. Ferguson's research division went on to develop various cars and tractors, including the first Formula One four-wheel-drive car.

Ferguson's four wheel drive system, utilising an open centre differential gear, was used in Formula 1 race cars and in the Range Rover and later in constant four wheel drive Land Rovers.

Ferguson died at his home at Stow-on-the-Wold in 1960, as the result of a barbiturate overdose; the inquest was unable to conclude whether this had been accidental or not.

A blue plaque commemorating Ferguson is mounted on the Ulster Bank building in Donegall Square, Belfast, the former site of his showroom. A granite memorial has been erected to Ferguson's pioneering flight on the North Promenade, Newcastle, and a full-scale replica of the Ferguson monoplane and an early Ferguson tractor and plough can be seen at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum at Cultra.

Ferguson was commemorated in 1981 when he appeared on stamps issued by the Irish Post Office in the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland, Danske Bank  (formerly Northern Bank) issues its own  £20 sterling notes which bear a portrait of Ferguson alongside a Ferguson tractor.

In 2008 the Harry Ferguson Memorial gardens were officially opened, opposite the house he lived in, just outside Dromara, Co. Down. A life-size bronze sculpture of Ferguson by John Sherlock was erected in the garden depicting Ferguson leaning on a fence surveying the view. The gardens are open to the public.

The University of Ulster opened the Harry Ferguson Engineering Village (18 February 2004) on the Jordanstown campus in recognition of the contribution made by him to engineering and innovation in Ireland.

The Science Museum in London has on display one of Harry Ferguson's prototype tractors completed in 1935 as part of its history of agriculture exhibition, including information panels outlining his role in revolutionising the use of the farm tractor and its impact on the development of modern agriculture.

James Francis Pantridge, CBE MC OStJ

Frank Pantridge was a physician, cardiologist, and professor from Northern Ireland who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services with the invention of the portable defibrillator.

Pantridge was born in Hillsborough, County Down, on 3rd October 1916. He was educated at Friends' School Lisburn and Queen's University of Belfast, graduating in medicine in 1939.

During World War II he served in the British Army. He was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a lieutenant on 12 April 1940. He was given the service number 128673. He was awarded the Military Cross during the Fall of Singapore, when he became a POW. He served much of his captivity as a slave labourer on the Burma Railway. When he was freed at the war's end, Pantridge was emaciated and had contracted cardiac beriberi; he suffered from ill-health related to the disease for the rest of his life.

After Pantridge's liberation he worked as a lecturer in the pathology department at Queen's University, and then won a scholarship to the University of Michigan, where he studied under Dr. F.N. Wilson, a cardiologist and authority on electrocardiography.

He returned to Northern Ireland in 1950, and was appointed as cardiac consultant to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and professor at Queen's University, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. There he established a specialist cardiology unit whose work became known around the world.

By 1957 Pantridge and his colleague, Dr John Geddes, had introduced the modern system of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for the early treatment of cardiac arrest. Further study led Frank Pantridge to the realization that many deaths resulted from ventricular fibrillation which needed to be treated before the patient was admitted to hospital. This led to his introduction of the mobile coronary care unit (MCCU), an ambulance with specialist equipment and staff to provide pre-hospital care.

To extend the usefulness of early treatment, Pantridge went on to develop the portable defibrillator, and in 1965 installed his first version in a Belfast ambulance. It weighed 70 kg and operated from car batteries, but by 1968 he had designed an instrument weighing only 3 kg, incorporating a miniature capacitor manufactured for NASA.

His work was backed up by clinical investigations and epidemiological studies in scientific papers, including an influential 1967 The Lancet article. With these developments, the Belfast treatment system, often known as the "Pantridge Plan", became adopted throughout the world by emergency medical services. The portable defibrillator became recognised as a key tool in first aid, and Pantridge's refinement of the automated external defibrillator (AED) allowed it to be used safely by members of the public.

Although he was known worldwide as the "Father of Emergency Medicine", Frank Pantridge was less acclaimed in his own country, and was saddened that it took until 1990 for all front-line ambulances in the UK to be fitted with defibrillators.

Pantridge was awarded the Military Cross "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malaya in 1942". The citation read:

This officer worked unceasingly under the most adverse conditions of continuous bombing and shelling and was an inspiring example to all with whom he came into contact. He was absolutely cool under the heaviest fire.

In June 1969, he was appointed Officer of the Order of St. John (OStJ). He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1979 New Year Honours.

The city of Lisburn commissioned a statue of Pantridge, which stands outside the council's offices at the Lagan Valley Island centre.

Pantridge died aged 88 on Boxing Day 2004.

Clive Staples Lewis

CS Lewis was born in Belfast on the 29th November 1898. He was a British writer and lay theologian.

As a boy, Lewis was fascinated with anthropomorphic animals; he fell in love with Beatrix Potter's stories and often wrote and illustrated his own animal stories.

In September 1910 he Enrolled as a boarding student at Campbell College, Belfast, but leaves in December due to respiratory problems. In September 1913, Lewis enrolled at Malvern College, where he remained until the following June. He found the school socially competitive. After leaving Malvern, he studied privately with William T. Kirkpatrick, his father's old tutor and former headmaster of Lurgan College.

During the Great War he served with the 1st Somerset Light Infantry. Lewis was wounded on 15 April 1918. He was struck by shell fragments that caused three wounds: to the left chest, which also broke a rib; a superficial wound to the left wrist; and to the left leg. Lewis remained in hospital until 24th December 1918 and was demobilised on this day.

He held academic positions in English literature at both Oxford University (Magdalen College, 1925–1954) and Cambridge University (Magdalene College, 1954–1963).

He is best known for his works of fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million books and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Lewis died of kidney failure on 22nd November 1963. He is buried in the Holy Trinity Church Cemetery, Oxford.

Amy Beatrice Carmichael

Amy Beatrice Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was a Christian  missionary in India, who opened an  orphanage and founded a mission in  Dohnavur. She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books about the missionary work there.

Amy Beatrice Carmichael was born in the small village of Millisle, County Down, Ireland in 1867; her parents were David Carmichael, a miller and his wife Catherine. Her parents were devout Presbyterians and she was the oldest of seven siblings. Amy attended Harrogate Ladies College for four years in her youth. It was there she became a Christian at the age of fifteen.

Amy's father moved the family to Belfast when she was 16, but he died two years later. In Belfast, the Carmichaels founded the Welcome Evangelical Church. In the mid-1880s, Carmichael started a Sunday-morning class for the Shawlies (mill girls who wore shawls instead of hats) in the church hall of Rosemary Street Presbyterian. This mission grew and grew until they needed a hall to seat 500 people. At this time Amy saw an advertisement in The Christian, for an iron hall that could be erected for £500 and would seat 500 people. Two donations, £500 from Miss Kate Mitchell and one plot of land from a mill owner, led to the erection of the first "Welcome Hall" on the corner of Cambrai Street and Heather Street in 1887.

Amy continued at the Welcome until she received a call to work among the mill girls of Manchester in 1889, from which she moved on to missionary work, although in many ways she seemed an unlikely candidate for missionary work, suffering as she did from neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole body weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end. But at the Keswick Convention of 1887, she heard Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission speak about missionary life; soon afterwards, she became convinced of her calling to missionary work. She applied to the China Inland Mission and lived in London at the training house for women, where she met author and missionary to China, Mary Geraldine Guinness, who encouraged her to pursue missionary work. She was ready to sail for Asia at one point, when it was determined that her health made her unfit for the work. She postponed her missionary career with the CIM and decided later to join the Church Missionary Society.

Initially Carmichael traveled to Japan for fifteen months, but fell ill and returned home. After a brief period of service in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), she went to Bangalore, India for her health and found her lifelong vocation. She was commissioned by the Church of England Zenana Mission. Carmichael's most notable work was with girls and young women, some of whom were saved from customs that amounted to forced prostitution. Hindu temple  children were primarily young girls dedicated to the gods, then usually forced into prostitution to earn money for the priests (i.e., Devadasi) Families often sold their children to the temples if they did not want them, or if they needed extra money and fewer children to feed.

Carmichael founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in 1901 to continue her work, as she later wrote in The Gold Cord (1932). A popular early work was Things as They Are: Mission Work in Southern India (1903). Dohnavur is situated in Tamil Nadu, thirty miles from India's southern tip. The name derives from Count Dohna, who initially funded German missionaries at the site in the early 19th century, on which Rev. Thomas Walker then established a school. Carmichael's fellowship transformed Dohnavur into a sanctuary for over one thousand children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future. Carmichael often said that her Ministry of rescuing temple children started with a girl named Preena. Having become a temple servant against her wishes, Preena managed to escape. Amy Carmichael provided her shelter and withstood the threats of those who insisted that the girl be returned either to the temple directly to continue her sexual assignments, or to her family for more indirect return to the temple. The number of such incidents soon grew, thus beginning Amy Carmichael's new Ministry. When the children were asked what drew them to Amy, they most often replied "It was love. Amma (They’re referring to Amy as their mother; Amma means mother) loved us."

Respecting Indian culture, members of the organization wore Indian dress and gave the rescued children Indian names. Carmichael herself dressed in Indian clothes, dyed her skin with dark coffee, and often travelled long distances on India's hot, dusty roads to save just one child from suffering.

While serving in India, Amy received a letter from a young lady who was considering life as a missionary. She asked Amy, "What is missionary life like?" Amy wrote back saying simply, "Missionary life is simply a chance to die." Nonetheless, in 1912 Queen Mary recognized the missionary's work, and helped fund a hospital at Dohnavur. By 1913, the Dohnavur Fellowship was serving 130 girls. In 1918, Dohnavur added a home for young boys, many born to the former temple prostitutes. Meanwhile, in 1916 Carmichael formed a Protestant religious order called Sisters of the Common Life.

In 1931, a fall severely injured Carmichael, and she remained bedridden for much of her final two decades. However, it did not stop her from continuing her inspirational writing, for she published 16 additional books (including His Thoughts Said . . . His Father Said (1951), If (1953), Edges of His Ways (1955) and God's Missionary (1957)), as well as revised others she had previously published. Biographers differ on the number of her published works, which may have reached 35 or as many as six dozen, although only a few remain in print today.

Carmichael died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone be put over her grave at Dohnavur. Instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma", which means mother in the Tamil language.

Her example as a missionary inspired others (including Jim Elliot and his wife Elisabeth Elliot) to pursue a similar vocation. Many webpages include quotes from Carmichael's works, such as

"It is a safe thing to trust Him to fulfill the desire that He creates."

India outlawed temple prostitution in 1948. However, the Dohnavur Fellowship continues, now supporting approximately 500 people on 400 acres with 16 nurseries and hospital. Rescued women can leave, or join the community, or return for important occasions, including the Christmas season. The foundation is now run by Indians under the jurisdiction of the C.S.I Tirunelveli Diocese, founded in 1896. Changed policies acknowledging Indian law require that all children born in or brought to Dohnavur are sent out for education in the 6th grade. Furthermore, since 1982, baby boys are adopted out rather than remain in the community.

Sir James Murray

Sir James Murray was physician from County Londonderry whose research into digestion led to his creation of the stomach aid Milk of Magnesia in 1809.

Murray developed the foundations of a fluid magnesia with a base ingredient of Magnesium sulfate, which had long been known for its benefits in digestion and as an aid for constipation.

Murray named his recipe Fluid Magnesia, and set up the company Sir James Murray & Son in order to successfully market it.

Fluid Magnesia was later sold as a solution and recommended as a palatable laxative and as a remedy for acidity, indigestion, heartburn, and gout.

He set up a factory in Belfast to produce the medicine commercially.

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell  DBE FRSFRSE FRAS FInstP

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRSFRSE FRAS FInstP


Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland who, as a postgraduate student, co-discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967. She was credited with "one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century.

Jocelyn Bell was born in Lurgan to M. Allison and G. Philip Bell. Her father was an architect who had helped design the Armagh Planetarium, and during visits she was encouraged by the staff to pursue astronomy professionally. Young Jocelyn also discovered her father's books on astronomy.

She grew up in Lurgan and attended the Preparatory Department of Lurgan College from 1948 to 1956, where she, like the other girls, was not permitted to study science until her parents (and others) protested against the school's policy. Previously, the girls' curriculum had included such subjects as cooking and cross-stitching rather than science.

She failed the eleven-plus exam and her parents sent her to The Mount School, a Quaker girls' boarding school in York, England.

She graduated from the University of Glasgowwith a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Philosophy (physics), with honours, in 1965 and obtained a PhD degree from the University of Cambridge in 1969.

Bell Burnell served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 to 2004, as president of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010, and as interim president of the Institute following the death of her successor, Marshall Stoneham, in early 2011.

In 2018, she was awarded the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Following the announcement of the award, she decided to give the whole of the £2.3 million prize money to help female, minority, and refugee students seeking to become physics researchers.

Honours In 1999, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Astronomy and promoted to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2007.

In February 2013, she was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom.

Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet PRS FRS

Hans Sloane, from Killyleagh Co Down, was a Royal physician who went to Jamaica in 1687 to spend 15 months as the governor’s physician and catalogued hundreds of botanical species including the cocoa bean.

Locals mixed the cocoa with water to form a concoction Sloane described as “nauseous and hard of digestion”. Hans Sloan boiled the cocoa with milk and sugar, inventing milk chocolate.

Back in England, Sloane used his milk chocolate recipe to treat digestion and consumption. More than 60 years later, Cadbury produced ‘Sir Hans Sloane’s Milk Chocolate’.

In his final year, Sir Hans Sloane suffered from a disorder with some paralysis. He died on the afternoon of 11 January 1753 at the Manor House, Chelsea, and was buried on 18 January in the south-east corner of the churchyard at Chelsea Old Church.

Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Sloane Avenue, Sloane Grammar School and Sloane Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are named after Sloane. His first name is given to Hans Street, Hans Crescent, Hans Place and Hans Road, all of which are also situated in the Royal Borough.

Sir James Martin CBE FIMechE FRAeS CEng

Sir James Martin CBE FIMechE FRAeS CEng

Sir James Martin was an engineer from Northern Ireland who together with Captain Valentine Baker founded the Martin-Baker aircraft company which is now a leading producer of aircraft ejection seats.

James Martin was born on the 11th September 1893 in Glasswater Road, Crossgar, County Down. He established his own engineering firm in 1929.

In 1934, he and Valentine Baker formed Martin-Baker; Captain Baker took the test pilot role. It was in a crash of their third design, the MB 3, that Baker was killed.

In WWII, Martin investigated pilot escape mechanisms for the Spitfire and devised an explosive charge to forcibly eject the seated pilot.

The first static ejector seat test was conducted in 1945, and the first in-flight test a year later.

Over 200 aircraft have Martin-Baker ejector seats and, to date, more than 7,634 pilots have successfully ejected. The last being a United States Navy F/A-18E on the 20th October 2020

In 1964 Martin was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club. In 2004, Martin was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Martin's contribution to engineering was commemorated by the Northern Bank in its Inventor series of banknotes, which featured his portrait on the bank's £100 note.

Annie Scott Dill Maunder

Annie Scott Dill Maunder was an astronomer from Northern Ireland.

Annie Scott Dill Russell was born in 1868 in The Manse, Strabane, County Tyrone, Ireland to William Andrew Russell and Hessy Nesbitt Russell (née Dill). Her father was the minister of the Presbyterian Church in Strabane until 1882. Her mother was the daughter of a minister at the same church. Annie was one of six children brought up in a devoutly Christian household with a "serious minded upbringing." All of the children were talented, high-level academics. Her older sister, Hester Dill Russell (later Smith), studied medicine under Dr Elizabeth Garrett Anderson at the London School of Medicine for Women. Hester qualified as the first exhibitioner in the final MB examination in 1891. Hester became a medical missionary in India and later married another medical missionary.

Annie and her sister Hester pursued secondary education at the Ladies Collegiate School in Belfast, which later became Victoria College. Winning a prize in an 1886 intermediate school examination at the age of 18, Annie was able to sit the Girton open entrance scholarship examination and was awarded a three-year scholarship of £35 annually.

Annie studied at Cambridge University (Girton College), and in 1889 she passed the degree examinations with honours, as the top mathematician of her year at Girton. Here, she also ranked Senior Optime (equivalent to second class at other universities) in the university results list. Annie was the first woman from Ireland to receive this rank. Her mathematician tutor was a fellow of a men's college. He praised her for ability to "throw herself into her work with such success, in spite of being more than ordinarily handicapped, even for a woman, with insufficiency of preliminary training". However the restrictions of the period did not allow her to receive the B.A. degree she would likely otherwise have earned.

In January 1890, Annie was told about a position at Greenwich that was available by her good friend Alice Everett. In response, Annie wrote many times to the Royal Observatory hoping to be considered for the position. Annie's father submitted a request for her to obtain the job, and a powerful promoter, Sir Robert Ball, wrote her a letter of recommendation. For a year, Annie worked as a mathematics mistress at the Ladies’ High School on the island of Jersey until she was offered the position by the Chief Assistant, Herbert Hall Turner. In 1891, Annie began her work at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, serving as one of the "lady computers" assigned to the solar department. This was a special department set up in 1873 to photograph the sun. Annie was offered £4 a month which she regarded as being barely enough to live on, as a teacher she had made £8 a year and was provided housing.

Annie worked under Walter Maunder on the Greenwich photoheliograph program. Her duties included using the Dallmeyer photo-heliograph to capture pictures of sunspots, find their location, and determine their properties. There, Annie assisted Walter Maunder, and she spent a great deal of time photographing the sun. She also tracked the movements of a great number of sunspots caused by the solar maximum of 1894. This included the giant sunspot of July 1892 which was caused by a magnetic storm resulting in the largest spot ever record at Greenwich at the time. In her first year at Greenwich (1891), the number of recorded observations in the solar department exceeded 7 times the average number of recordings for the past 35 years. While she was not credited for this, Walter Maunder nominated her for the Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1892. In November 1894, she was made editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association (BAA) by her husband who was president at the time. She kept this position for 35 years.

Annie, aged 27, married Walter, aged 45, in a Presbyterian church in Greenwich on 28 December 1895. Walter and Annie had no children together; although, Walter had five children from a previous marriage. Annie was 17 years younger than Walter and only nine years older than his oldest son. The oldest of the children was 21 and the youngest was 7. Annie was described as having an active mind and a "lively imagination combined with a tireless zeal in seeking evidence and working out details before presenting any conclusions.” Walter died in 1928 at the age of 76.

In 1904, Annie and Walter created the butterfly diagram to analyse sunspots, showing the latitude of the sunspots over time. The butterfly diagram "is one of the most powerful representations of the inner workings of the Sun". The paper originally had two desiccated butterflies but a third was added after the 11 to 12-year course. Annie was not published as coauthor on her husband's paper over the butterfly diagram. In 1943 Sydney Chapman, President of the Royal Society used the butterfly diagram as the subject of his 1943 presidential address, an honour for something she considered as her "most cherished pieces of work". The butterfly diagram is currently in the High Altitude Observatory. Annie gave the butterfly diagram to Walter Orr Roberts (the director of the High Altitude Observatory) during the Second World War.

Annie co-authored with her husband on some papers. In 1907, she published a paper covering "an analysis of the formidable sunspot data-set that had been gathered at the ROG, covering 1889–1901" as sole author. This analysis contained data that took 13 years to collect, and 19 tables of results. In this paper she found east–west asymmetries in sunspots, a controversial finding which she could not explain. Years later, Arthur Schuster, a famous physicist, confirmed her findings and suggested an explanation for the asymmetry. Modern science and data has also confirmed her observations on the asymmetrical nature of the sunspots. Annie published The Heavens and their Story in 1908, with her husband Walter as co-author. (She was credited by her husband as the primary author.) The book was written for the amateur readers, containing her photographs of the sun and the Milky Way, in hopes to draw in more people to the field of astronomy. The book discusses the sudden terrestrial magnetic storms coinciding with the sunspots' rotation period which was seen in the 1898 eclipse in India. The Maunders thought that the magnetic storms were made of positively and negatively charged electrified particles, an "insight [that] far predates better-known statements on the same matter, and has much in common with our present-day understanding".

She was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in November 1916, ten months after the bar on female Fellows was lifted. Earlier, she had become a member of the BAA, which Walter had helped found in 1890. Although he had been fellow of the RAS since 1875, Walter wanted an association of astronomers open to every person interested in astronomy, from every class of society, and especially open for women. Annie had first been nominated for election to the RAS 24 years earlier due strongly in part to Walter's recommendation. Along with her were two additional nominees, Elizabeth Brown and Alice Everett. None of the three women received the three-quarters vote at the April 1892 meeting that was required for election. One Fellow specifically implied that the women would largely serve as a distraction and simply a social element to the meetings without contributing much of worth. Annie did not take lightly to the prejudice against her and other women throughout her field occupied largely by men, and she especially did not agree with the results of the 1892 RAS election.

The crater Maunder on the Moon is jointly named for Walter and Annie Maunder, as is the Maunder Minimum. In 2016 the RAS established the Annie Maunder medal for an outstanding contribution to outreach and public engagement in astronomy or geophysics. In June 2018 it was announced that the Royal Observatory Greenwich has installed a new telescope in its Altazimuth Pavilion, the Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope (AMAT), as part of a revival of telescopy in London enabled by cleaner air and advanced technology. There is also to be an exhibition about Maunder's story, on the ground floor of the building.

Annie died almost two decades after her husband, aged 79, in Wandsworth, London in 1947.

Isabella Tod

Isabella Tod
Suffragist and Campaigner

Isabella was educated at home, apparently by her mother, who had a profound influence on her life. By the 1860s she was living in Belfast with her mother, who died in 1877. Tod was always proud of her Scottish blood and frequently alluded to the fact that one of her ancestors signed the copy of the Solemn League and Covenant at Holywood, Co. Down, in 1646.

For a period Tod earned her living by writing leaders for the Belfast newspaper the Northern Whig. She was a contributor to the Dublin University Magazine and The Banner of Ulster.

She was the only woman called upon to give evidence to a select committee inquiry on the reform of the married women’s property law in 1868 and served on the executive of the Married Women’s Property Committee in London from 1873 to 1874.

Tod successfully campaigned for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866 and 1869. Under the terms of this legislation, any woman suspected of being a prostitute could be arrested and forced to undergo medical examination for venereal disease. She opposed these acts as an infringement of women’s civil liberties. A life-long advocate of temperance, in 1874 she and Margaret Byers formed the Belfast Women’s Temperance Association.

She was a consistent advocate of access to secondary and tertiary education for girls. The Ladies’ Collegiate School Belfast (1859), the Queen’s Institute Dublin (1861), Alexandra College Dublin (1866), and the Belfast Ladies’ Institute (1867) owe their existence to Tod’s campaigns. In her publication On the Education of Girls of the Middle Classes (1874), she called for practical education along the lines provided by the Belfast Ladies’ Institute, which she had helped establish in 1867, to enable middle class women to earn a living. She pressured government to include girls within the terms of the Intermediate Education act of 1878.

In 1871 Tod organised the first suffrage society in the country, the North of Ireland Women’s Suffrage Committee, and her speeches were widely reported in the suffrage journals and daily newspapers in both Ireland and England. She shared platforms with, and was a friend of, many of the leading English suffragists.

In February 1872 Tod embarked on the first Irish campaign to secure the vote for women, addressing meetings at Belfast, Carrickfergus, Coleraine and Londonderry. On 21 February she addressed a meeting in Dublin which resulted in the establishment of a suffrage committee which evolved into the Dublin Women’s Suffrage Society. In 1873 she formed the North of Ireland Women’s Suffrage Society. Her campaign to ensure that women were granted the municipal franchise was rewarded for her efforts by the granting of this franchise to Belfast women in 1887, eleven years before women in other Irish towns were given the same privilege. She addressed meetings in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and visited London annually during the parliamentary session to lobby politicians.

She was a Liberal in politics but capable of co-operating very effectively, if circumstances required it, with Conservative politicians. Prime Minister Gladstone’s conversion to Irish Home Rule split the Liberal Party, produced realignment in British politics, and sundered many old friendships. This too was Isabella Tod’s experience; old friends and fellow campaigners became political opponents. She organised a Liberal Women’s Unionist Association in Belfast and spoke on platforms in Devon, Cornwall, and London. She argued that: “Home Rule would destroy Ireland’s economic base, not only would there be a withdrawal of capital… many skilled artisans would come over to England which would not tend to raise wages”. She worked tirelessly as a publicist and was the only woman member of the executive committee of the Ulster Women’s Liberal Unionist Association in 1888.

The last few years of Tod’s life were dogged by bad health. By this time, her work was much appreciated by many individuals in both England and Ireland. In 1884 she was presented with a testimonial of £1,000 contributed mainly by her “English fellow workers in various philanthropies”. In November 1886 she was presented with a full-length portrait as a token of appreciation for her work in Ireland. Another testimonial, some years later, consisted of an album, which contained 120 signatories, many from the front rank of the Unionist Party. She died at her home in Botanic Avenue, Belfast on 8 December 1896.

William Ferguson Massey PC

William Ferguson Massey PC
Prime Minister New Zealand

William Ferguson Massey PC, commonly known as Bill Massey, was a politician who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from May 1912 to May 1925.

Massey was born in Limavady, County Londonderry. His father John Massey and his mother Marianne (or Mary Anne) née Ferguson were tenant farmers, who also owned a small property. His family arrived in New Zealand on 21 October 1862 on board the Indian Empire as Nonconformist settlers, although Massey remained at home for a further eight years to complete his education.

After arriving on 10 December 1870 on the City of Auckland, Massey worked as a farmhand for some years before acquiring his own farm in Mangere, south Auckland, in 1876. In 1882 Massey married his neighbour's daughter, Christina Allan Paul. They had seven children.

He entered parliament in 1894 as a conservative, and from 1894 to 1912 was a leader of the conservative opposition to the Liberal ministries of Richard Seddon and Joseph Ward.

Massey became the first Reform Party Prime Minister after he led a successful motion of no confidence against the Liberal government. He pledged New Zealand's support for Britain during the First World War.

"All we are and all we have is at the disposal of the British Government."

Cable from Massey to the British Government, 1914.

The war reinforced Massey's strong belief in the British Empire and New Zealand's links with it. He attended the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and signed the Treaty of Versailles on behalf of New Zealand. Although turning down knighthoods and a peerage, he accepted appointment as a Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium) from the King of Belgium in March 1921 and a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour by the President of France in October 1921.

William Ferguson Massey PC died in Wellington on the 10th May 1925.

Harland & Wolff

Harland & Wolff

Harland & Wolff is a shipyard, specialising in ship repair, conversion, and offshore construction, located in Belfast.

Harland & Wolff is famous for having built the majority of the ships intended for the White Star Line. Well-known ships built by Harland & Wolff include the Olympic-class trio: RMS Titanic, RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic, the Royal Navy's HMS Belfast, Royal Mail Line's Andes, Shaw Savill's Southern Cross, Union-Castle's RMS Pendennis Castle, and P&O's Canberra.

Harland & Wolff was formed in 1861 by Edward James Harland (1831–95) and Hamburg-born Gustav Wilhelm Wolff (1834–1913, come to the UK at age 14). In 1858 Harland, then general manager, bought the small shipyard on Queen's Island from his employer Robert Hickson.

After buying Hickson's shipyard, Harland made his assistant Wolff a partner in the company. Wolff was the nephew of Gustav Schwabe, Hamburg, who was heavily invested in the Bibby Line, and the first three ships that the newly incorporated shipyard built were for that line. Harland made a success of the business through several innovations, notably replacing the wooden upper decks with iron ones which increased the strength of the ships; and giving the hulls a flatter bottom and squarer cross section, which increased their capacity. Walter Henry Wilson became a partner of the company in 1874.

When Harland died in 1895, William James Pirrie became the chairman of the company until his death in 1924. Thomas Andrews also became the general manager and head of the draughting department in 1907. It was in this period that the company built Olympic and the two other ships in her class, Titanic and Britannic, between 1909 and 1914, commissioning Sir William Arrol & Co. to construct a massive twin slipway and gantry structure for the project.

In 1912, due primarily to increasing political instability in Ireland, the company acquired another shipyard at Govan in Glasgow, Scotland. It bought the former London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co's Middleton and Govan New shipyards in Govan and Mackie & Thomson's Govan Old Yard, which had been owned by William Beardmore and Company. The three neighbouring yards were amalgamated and redeveloped to provide a total of seven building berths, a fitting-out basin and extensive workshops. Harland & Wolff specialised in building tankers and cargo ships at Govan. The nearby shipyard of A. & J. Inglis was also purchased by Harland & Wolff in 1919, along with a stake in the company's primary steel supplier, David Colville & Sons. Harland & Wolff also established shipyards at Bootle in Liverpool, North Woolwich in London and Southampton. However, these shipyards were all eventually closed from the early 1960s when the company opted to consolidate its operations in Belfast.

In the First World War, Harland and Wolff built monitors and cruisers, including the 15-inch gun armed "large light cruiser" HMS Glorious. In 1918, the company opened a new shipyard on the eastern side of the Musgrave Channel which was named the East Yard. This yard specialised in mass-produced ships of standard design developed in the First World War.

The company started an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary with Short Brothers, called Short & Harland Limited in 1936. Its first order was for 189 Handley Page Hereford bombers built under licence from Handley Page for the Royal Air Force. In the Second World War, this factory built Short Stirlingbombers as the Hereford was removed from service.

The shipyard was busy in the Second World War, building six aircraft carriers, two cruisers (including HMS Belfast) and 131 other naval ships; and repairing over 22,000 vessels. It also manufactured tanks and artillery components. It was in this period that the company's workforce peaked at around 35,000 people. However, many of the vessels built in this era were commissioned right at the end of World War II, as Harland and Wolff were focused on ship repair in the first three years of the war. The yard on Queen's Island was heavily bombed by the Luftwaffe in April and May 1941 causing considerable damage to the shipbuilding facilities and destroying the aircraft factory.

With the rise of the jet-powered airliner in the late 1950s, the demand for ocean linersdeclined. This, coupled with competition from Japan, led to difficulties for the British shipbuilding industry. The last liner that the company launched was MV Arlanza for Royal Mail Line in 1960, whilst the last liner completed was SS Canberra for P&O in 1961.

In the 1960s, notable achievements for the yard included the tanker Myrina, which was the first supertanker built in the UK and the largest vessel ever launched down a slipway, as it was in September 1967. In the same period the yard also built the semi-submersible drilling rig Sea Quest which, due to its three-legged design, was launched down three parallel slipways. This was a first and only time this was ever done.

Continuing problems led to the company's nationalisation, though not as part of British Shipbuilders, in 1977. In 1971, the Arrol Gantrycomplex, within which many ships were built until the early 1960s, was demolished. The nationalised company was sold by the British government in 1989 to a management/employee buy-out in partnership with the Norwegian shipping magnate Fred Olsen; leading to a new company called Harland & Wolff Holdings Plc.[12] By this time, the number of people employed by the company had fallen to around 3,000.

For the next few years, Harland & Wolff specialised in building standard Suezmax oil tankers, and has continued to concentrate on vessels for the offshore oil and gas industry. It has made some forays outside this market.

In the late 1990s, the yard was part of the then British Aerospace's team for the Royal Navy's Future Carrier (CVF) programme. It was envisaged that the ship would be assembled at the Harland & Wolff dry-dock in Belfast. In 1999 BAE merged with Marconi Electronic Systems. The new company, BAE Systems Marine, included the former Marconi shipyards on the Clyde and at Barrow-in-Furness thus rendering H&W's involvement surplus to requirements.

Faced with competitive pressures, Harland & Wolff sought to shift and broaden their portfolio, focusing less on shipbuilding and more on design and structural engineering, as well as ship repair, offshore construction projects and competing for other projects to do with metal engineering and construction. This led to Harland and Wolff constructing a series of bridges in Britain and also in the Republic of Ireland, such as the James Joyce Bridge and the restoration of Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge, building on the success of its first foray into the civil engineering sector with the construction of the Foyle Bridge in the 1980s.

Harland & Wolff's last shipbuilding project was MV Anvil Point, one of six near identical Point-class sealift ships built for use by the Ministry of Defence. The ship, built under licence from German shipbuilders Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, was launched in 2003.

In recent years the company had seen its ship-related workload increase slightly. Whilst Harland & Wolff had no involvement in any shipbuilding projects for the foreseeable future, the company is increasingly involved in overhaul, re-fitting and ship repair, as well as the construction and repair of off-shore equipment such as oil platforms. On 1 February 2011 it was announced that Harland & Wolff had won the contract to refurbish SS Nomadic, effectively rekindling its nearly 150-year association with the White Star Line. Structural steel work on the ship began on 10 February 2011 and was completed in time for the 2012 Belfast Titanic Festival.

Belfast's skyline is still dominated today by Harland & Wolff's famous twin gantry cranes, Samson and Goliath, built in 1974 and 1969 respectively. There is also speculation about a resurgence in the prosperity of the shipyard thanks to the company's diversification into emerging technologies, particularly in renewable energy development, such as offshore wind turbine and tidal powerconstruction, which may provide an opportunity to further improve the company's fortunes in the long term.

Subsequently, on the 1st of October 2019, It was announced that the company was bought for £6m by the London-based energy firm, InfraStrata.

Chaim Herzog

Chaim Herzog

President of Israel

Major-General Chaim Herzog was an Israeli politician, general, lawyer and author who served as the sixth President of Israel between 1983 and 1993.

Born in Belfast and raised in Dublin he was the son of Ireland's Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog.

Herzog joined the British Army during World War II, operating primarily in Germany as a tank commander in the Armoured Corps. There, he was given his lifelong nickname of "Vivian" because the British could not pronounce the name, "Chaim". A Jewish soldier had volunteered that "Vivian" was the English equivalent of "Chaim". He was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1943. Herzog participated in the liberation of several Nazi concentration camps as well as identifying a captured German soldier as Heinrich Himmler. He left the British Army in 1947 with the rank of Major.

After leaving the army, Herzog opened a private law practice. He returned to public life in 1967, when the Six-Day War broke out, as a military commentator for Kol Israel radio news. Following the capture of the West Bank, he was appointed Military Governor of East Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria.

In the 1981 elections, Herzog entered politics for the first time, winning a seat in the Knesset as a member of the Alignment, the predecessor to the Labor Party. On 22 March 1983, Herzog was elected by the Knesset to serve as the sixth President of Israel. He assumed office on 5 May 1983 and served two five-year terms (then the maximum permitted by Israeli basic law), retiring from political life in 1993.

As president of Israel, Herzog made a number of visits abroad, being the first Israeli president to make an official visit to Germany.

Herzog died on 17th April 1997. He is buried on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem.

Anne Acheson CBE FRBC

Anne Acheson CBE FRBC

Plaster Cast Pioneer

Anne was born in Portadown in County Armagh. After graduating from Victoria College in Belfast and the Belfast School of Art, Ms Acheson won a scholarship to the Royal College in Kensington, London, where she studied sculpture from 1906-1910.

During the First World War she volunteered with the Surgical Requisites Association. Acheson and Elinor Hallé were both sculptors and they witnessed soldiers returning from the front with broken limbs held together with only wooden splints and basic bandages.

Acheson suggested taking a plaster cast of the limb and when the cast had hardened, wrapping papier-mache over it, and placing it over the broken limb to support it whilst healing. This was inspired by the plaster of Paris she used in her sculptural work.

The anatomically correct papier-mache splint reduced the healing time while properly supporting the broken limb. The idea of using plaster of Paris was adopted and refined over the years and is still in use today by the medical profession.

She was the first woman, in 1938, to be elected a fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

William McCrum

William McCrum

The Penalty Kick

Willie McCrum was a wealthy Irish linen manufacturer and sportsman, most famous for being the inventor in 1890 of the penalty kick in football.

Born on 20 February 1865 in Ballynahone Beg townland, outside Milford, County Armagh, William was the son of the linen millionaire Robert Garmany McCrum, JP, DL (1829-1915) and his wife, Anne Eliza Riddall (1840-1869). His father created the famous linen manufacturing firm of McCrum, Watson and Mercer and was the builder of the Victorian era model village of Milford. William studied at The Royal School, Armagh and then Trinity College, Dublin, where was university champion. He lived at Milford House with his father and later worked for the family business, including a time as London representative and one of the managing directors. William was not a success at running the family business and lacked the business acumen and innovation of his father. He was High Sheriff of Armagh in 1888.

He played for many years as goalkeeper for Milford Football Club, including in the first season of the Irish Football League (1890–1891). Milford finished bottom of the league with 0 points from 14 games, having conceded 62 goals and scored only 10. "Master Willie" as he was known to the villagers also spent his spare time taking part in amateur theatrics in the Milford village hall, called the McCrum Institute.

When not travelling the world, he spent a large proportion of his life living in Milford where he was a justice of the peace and representative of many sporting clubs and committees including Milford FC, Milford and Armagh cricket clubs, and Armagh Rugby Football Club. He played chess for Armagh and participated in individual and team competitions and also submitted games.

It was in his role as member of the Irish Football Association that McCrum proposed the idea of the penalty kick to stop the prevalent practice at the time of defenders professionally fouling an attacking player to stop a goal. The idea was submitted to the June 1890 meeting of the International Football Association Board by the Irish FA's general secretary and IFAB representative Jack Reid.

The original proposal read:

If any player shall intentionally trip or hold an opposing player, or deliberately handle the ball within twelve yards from his own goal line, the referee shall, on appeal, award the opposing side a penalty kick, to be taken from any point 12 yards from the goal line, under the following conditions: All players, with the exception of the player taking the penalty kick and the goalkeeper, shall stand behind the ball and at least six yards from it; the ball shall be in play when the kick is taken. A goal may be scored from a penalty kick.

The proposal initially generated much derision and indignation amongst footballers and the press as the 'Irishman's motion' or the 'death penalty' as it was known, conceded that players might deliberately act unsportingly. This went against the Victorian idea of the amateur gentleman sportsman. Public opinion may have changed after an FA Cup quarter final between Stoke City and Notts County on 14 February 1891 where an indirect free kick after a deliberate handball on the goal line did not result in a goal.

The penalty kick rule was approved as number 13 in the Laws of the Game, a year after it was proposed, on 2 June 1891, at the Alexandra Hotel, Bath St., in Glasgow 'after considerable discussion' and with changes affecting where the goalkeeper and other players could legally stand. On the 8th October 2020, Northern Ireland, the birthplace of the penalty kick, in their first ever competitive penalty shootout beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 4-3 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 following extra time. It was for this reason that Willie McCrum invented the penalty kick.

In 1929, the Wall Street crash hit the fortunes of McCrum, Watson & Mercer hard. It had large business interests in America. The firm collapsed and the Northern Bank ceased control of Milford factory and village. In November 1930, the entire contents of Milford House were dispersed at auction. William went to live with his family in England. It was not a great success. His grandson Tony remembers that he could tell within two minutes if you were capable of playing chess or not – William said Tony wasn't, but his brother Michael could. William later returned to Armagh city where he lived in a boarding house in Victoria Street. On 21 December 1932, he was taken to Armagh Infirmary where he died of a heart attack. He is buried with parents and grandparents in St. Mark's Churchyard Armagh. The grave was restored by funding from FIFA in 2015.

Milford House became Manor House School Northern Ireland only Country House Residential School for girls. In 1966, it became Manor House Special Care Hospital. Since 1994, Milford House has been derelict and is today one of the top ten listed buildings at most serious risk in Northern Ireland.

Today William McCrum and Milford House are world famous as the home of penalty kick and appear in some form of media somewhere in the world every five minutes.

John Miller Andrews, CH, PC

John Miller Andrews, CH, PC

Prime Minister of Northern Ireland

John Miller Andrews was the second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Andrews was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland in 1871, the eldest child in the family of four sons and one daughter of Thomas Andrews, flax spinner, and his wife Eliza Pirrie, a sister of Viscount Pirrie, chairman of Harland and Wolff.

He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. In business, Andrews was a landowner, a director of his family linen-bleaching company and of the Belfast Ropeworks. His younger brother, Thomas Andrews, who died in the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, was managing director of the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast; another brother, Sir James Andrews, 1st Baronet, was Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

In 1902 he married Jessie (died 1950), eldest daughter of Bolton stockbroker Joseph Ormrod at Rivington Unitarian Chapel, Rivington, near Chorley, Lancashire, England. They had one son and two daughters. His younger brother, Sir James, married Jessie's sister.

Andrews was elected as a member of parliament in the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, sitting from 1921 until 1953 (for County Down constituency from 1921–29 and for Mid-Down from 1929 –1953). He was a founder member of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association, which he chaired, and was Minister of Labour from 1921 to 1937. He was Minister of Finance from 1937 to 1940, succeeding to the position on the death of Hugh MacDowell Pollock; on the death of Lord Craigavon, in 1940, he became leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the second Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

In April 1943 backbench dissent forced him from office. He was replaced as Prime Minister by Sir Basil Brooke. Andrews remained, however, the recognised leader of the UUP for a further three years. Five years later he became the Grand Master of the Orange Order. From 1949, he was the last parliamentary survivor of the original 1921 Northern Ireland Parliament, and as such was recognised as the Father of the House.

Throughout his life he was deeply involved in the Orange Order; he held the positions of Grand Master of County Down from 1941 and Grand Master of Ireland (1948–1954). In 1949 he was appointed Imperial Grand Master of the Grand Orange Council of the World.

Andrews was a committed and active member of the Non-subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland. He regularly attended Sunday worship, in the church built on land donated by his great-grandfather James Andrews in his home town Comber. Andrews served on the Comber Congregational Committee from 1896 until his death in 1956 (holding the position of Chairman from 1935 onwards).

He is buried in the small graveyard adjoining the church. He was named after his maternal great-uncle, John Miller of Comber (1795–1883).

Professor Paul Duprex PhD

Professor Paul Duprex PhD


Professor Paul Duprex is a virologist from Lurgan, County Armagh. He was educated at Lurgan College and is now at the forefront of the global race to find a vaccine to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Duprex earned a Ph.D. in molecular virology from Queen’s University Belfast, following research in biocontainment on foot-and-mouth disease virus at The Pirbright Institute. He lectured for 16 years at the university before moving to the US.

Duprex was a professor of microbiology and director of bioimaging at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.

Duprex has a deep passion for not only understanding infectious diseases, but also for transforming that knowledge into practical developments, such as vaccines, that will protect public health.

He is currently the director of The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research. Paul also holds the Pitt’s Jonas Salk Chair for Vaccine Research and directs the Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, a high-security facility at the center that allows scientists to contain and study dangerous pathogens.

Seamus Justin Heaney MRIA

Seamus Justin Heaney MRIA

Seamus Justin Heaney was a poet, playwright and translator from Northern Ireland. He received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. Among his best-known works is Death of a Naturalist (1966), his first major published volume. Heaney was and is still recognised as one of the principal contributors to poetry in Ireland during his lifetime. American poet Robert Lowell described him as "the most important Irish poet since Yeats", and many others, including the academic John Sutherland, have said that he was "the greatest poet of our age". Robert Pinsky has stated that "with his wonderful gift of eye and ear Heaney has the gift of the story-teller." Upon his death in 2013, The Independent described him as "probably the best-known poet in the world".

Heaney was born on 13 April 1939, at the family farmhouse called Mossbawn, between Castledawson and Toomebridge; he was the first of nine children. In 1953, his family moved to Bellaghy, a few miles away, which is now the family home. His father, Patrick Heaney was the eighth child of ten born to James and Sarah Heaney. Patrick was a farmer, but his real commitment was to cattle dealing, to which he was introduced by the uncles who had cared for him after the early death of his own parents.

Heaney's mother, Margaret Kathleen McCann, who bore nine children, came from the McCann family. Her uncles and relations were employed in the local linen mill, and her aunt had worked as a maid for the mill owner's family. Heaney commented that his parentage contained both the Ireland of the cattle-herding Gaelic past and the Ulster of the Industrial Revolution; he considered this to have been a significant tension in his background. Heaney attended Anahorish Primary School; when he was twelve years old, he won a scholarship to St Columb's College, in Londonderry. Heaney's younger brother, Christopher, was killed in a road accident while Heaney was studying at St Columb's. The poems "Mid-Term Break" and "The Blackbird of Glanmore" are related to his brother's death.

Heaney played football for Castledawson, the club in the area of his birth, as a boy, and did not change to Bellaghy when his family moved there.

He became a lecturer at St. Joseph's College in Belfast in the early 1960s, after attending Queen's University and began to publish poetry. He lived in Sandymount, Dublin, from 1976 until his death. He lived part-time in the United States from 1981 to 2006.

Heaney was a professor at Harvard from 1981 to 1997, and it’s Poet in Residence from 1988 to 2006. From 1989 to 1994, he was also the Professor of Poetry at Oxford. In 1996, was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 1998 was bestowed the title Saoi of the Aosdána. Other awards that he received include the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), the T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999). In 2011, he was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize and in 2012, a Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust. His literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland.

He is buried at the Cemetery of St Mary's Church, Bellaghy, Northern Ireland. The headstone bears the epitaph "Walk on air against your better judgement", from one of his poems, "The Gravel Walks"

Dr James Archibald McIlroy

Dr James Archibald McIlroy

James McIlroy was a British surgeon and a member of Ernest Shackleton's crew on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

He was born in the County Antrim market town of Ballyclare where his father hailed from. The family later moved to Kings Norton, Birmingham, England, where he attended grammar school.

After McIlroy earned his medical degree at Birmingham University, he was for a brief time a surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He spent several of the following years practicing medicine in  Egypt, in Japan, and as a ship's surgeon on cruise ships in and around the East Indies.

In 1914, McIlroy, along with Alexander Macklin, were the two physicians assigned under Shackleton on 'Endurance', the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, despite suffering from malaria. Known by the nickname of Mick during the expediton, McIlroy was described by Endurance  author Alfred Lansing as "a handsome, aristocratic-looking individual" who was seen by his fellow crew as a "man of the world". He was known to entertain his crew mates with the stories of his exploits sailing around the world. McIlroy was also in charge of a sled-dog team when the expedition was cast away on the Weddell Sea. He also played the banjo in the team's musical ensemble. After the castaways found a refuge on Elephant Island, McIlroy was the surgeon performing the amputation of Perce Blackborow's gangrenous toes, with Macklin serving as anestheologist, carefully administering a tiny quantity of salvaged chloroform as anaesthesia. After the rescue of McIlroy and his comrades, the physician was awarded the Silver Polar Medal.

After his convalescence from his injuries he incurred during the Great War, McIlroy journeyed to Africa and took up cotton farming with Frank Wild and Francis Bickerton in Malawi, then known as  Nyasaland. In 1921 he signed up as a surgeon with Shackleton on another polar expedition, 'Quest', (the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition); Shacketon died on board ship off South Georgia Island, however, and the mission was completed by explorer Frank Wild (1873-1939).

During World War I, he was badly wounded at Ypres. In World War II, McIlroy was serving on the S.S. Oronsay when it was torpedoed off the coast of West Africa, spending five days on an open boat before being rescued by the French ship Dumont d’Urville.

After the war, he remained a ship's surgeon well into his late seventies, working for the P&O and Clan Line shipping lines. He died, at the age of 89, in Surrey, England.

In 1990 the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee named a peak after McIlroy.  McIlroy Peak rises to 745 metres (2,440 ft) west of Husvik Harbour and 0.8 nautical miles (1.5 km) south of Mount Barren, South Georgia.

In the 2002 Shackleton television film, McIlroy was portrayed by actor Pip Torrens.

Cecil Frances Alexander

Cecil Frances Alexander
Hymn Writer/Poet

Cecil Frances Alexander hymnwriter and poet. Amongst other works, she wrote "All Things Bright and Beautiful", "There Is a Green Hill Far Away" and the Christmas carol "Once in Royal David's City."

Alexander was born at 25 Eccles Street, Dublin, the third child and second daughter of Major John Humphreys of Norfolk  (land-agent to 4th Earl of Wicklow and later to the second Marquess of Abercorn), and his wife Elizabeth (née Reed). She began writing verse in her childhood, being strongly influenced by Dr Walter Hook, Dean of Chichester. Her subsequent religious work was strongly influenced by her contacts with the Oxford Movement, and in particular with John Keble, who edited Hymns for Little Children, one of her anthologies. By the 1840s she was already known as a hymn writer and her compositions were soon included in Church of Ireland hymnbooks. She also contributed lyric poems, narrative poems, and translations of French poetry to Dublin University Magazine under various pseudonyms.

Her book Hymns for Little Children reached its 69th edition before the close of the 19th century. Some of her hymns, such as "All Things Bright and Beautiful", "There Is a Green Hill Far Away" and the Christmas carol "Once in Royal David's City", are known by Christians the world over, as is her rendering of "Saint Patrick's Breastplate". She issued Verses for Holy Seasons  (1846), The Lord of the Forest and His Vassals (1847) – a children's allegory – and Hymns for Little Children (1848).

In Strabane in October 1850 she married the Anglican clergyman William Alexander, afterwards Bishop of Derry and Archbishop of Armagh. Her husband also wrote several books of poetry, of which the best known is St. Augustine's Holiday and other Poems. She was six years older than the clergyman, causing great family concern. Her daughter, Eleanor Jane Alexander, was also a poet.

Alexander was involved in charitable work for much of her life. Money from her first publications had helped build the Derry and Raphoe Diocesan Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which was founded in Strabane in 1846. The profits from Hymns for Little Children were also donated to the school. She was involved with the Derry Home for Fallen Women, and worked to develop a district nurses service. She was an "indefatigable visitor to poor and sick".

Seven hymns penned by Alexander were included in the 1873 issue of the Church of Ireland Hymnal, and eighteen of her works were contained in A Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern (1889). They continue to be well-accepted, as nine of her works were contained in both the 1960 and the 1987 editions of the Hymnal. A posthumous collection of her poems was published in 1896 by William Alexander, titled Poems of the late Mrs Alexander.

In 1913, after the death of her husband in 1911, a stained glass window by James Powell and Sons in her memory was installed in the north vestibule of St Columb's Cathedral in Londonderry, financed by public subscription. The three lights of the windows refer to three of her hymns and show corresponding scenes: "Once in Royal David's City", "There Is a Green Hill Far Away", and "The Golden Gates Are Lifted Up". One of her beautiful works was called the Fieldmouse. It is a 4 stanza poem.

Alexander died at the Bishop's Palace in Londonderry and was buried in the City Cemetery. Her husband is buried beside her in a grave which was restored by the Friends of St Columba's Cathedral in 2006.

An Ulster History Circle commemorative blue plaque was unveiled in her memory on 14th April 1995 at Bishop Street in the city.

John Boyd Dunlop

John Boyd Dunlop


John Boyd Dunlop was a Scottish inventor and veterinary surgeon who spent most of his career in Northern Ireland. Familiar with making rubber devices, he re-invented pneumatic tyres for his child's tricycle and developed them for use in cycle racing.

He sold his rights to the pneumatic tyres to a company he formed with the president of the Irish Cyclists' Association, Harvey Du Cros, for a small cash sum and a small shareholding in their pneumatic tyre business.

Dunlop withdrew in 1896. The company that bore his name, Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company, was not incorporated until later using the name well known to the public, but it was Du Cros's creation.

He was born on a farm in Dreghorn, North Ayrshire, and studied to be a veterinary surgeon at the Dick Vet, University of Edinburgh, a profession he pursued for nearly ten years at home, moving to Downpatrick in 1867.

Quite early in his life he was told he had been a premature birth, two months before his mother had expected. He convinced himself his health was delicate and throughout his life acted accordingly, but he had no serious illness until he contracted a chill in October 1921 aged 81 and died unexpectedly. Sir Arthur Du Cros described him as a diffident and gentle-mannered man but confident in his abilities.

He married Margaret Stevenson in 1871 and they had a daughter and a son. He established Downe Veterinary Clinic in Downpatrick with his brother James Dunlop before moving to a practice in 38–42 May Street, Belfast.

Dunlop developed pneumatic tyres for his son's tricycle and soon had them made commercially in Scotland. A cyclist using his tyres began to win all races and drew the attention of Harvey Du Cros. Dunlop sold his rights into a new business with Du Cros for some cash and a small shareholding. With Du Cros he overcame many difficulties experienced by their business, including the loss of his patent rights. In 1892 he retired from his veterinary practice and moved to Dublin soon after Harvey Du Cros with his assistance successfully refloated Booth Bros of Dublin as the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency. The pneumatic tyre revolutionised the bicycle industry, which had boomed after the 1885 introduction of J K Starley's safety bicycle.

J B Dunlop sold out in 1895 and took no further interest in the tyre or rubber business. His remaining business interest was a local drapery.

In October 1887, John Boyd Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic or inflatable tyre for his son's tricycle and, using his knowledge and experience with rubber, in the yard of his home in Belfast fitted it to a wooden disc 96 centimetres across. The tyre was an inflated tube of sheet rubber. He then took his wheel and a metal wheel from his son's tricycle and rolled both across the yard together. The metal wheel stopped rolling but the pneumatic continued until it hit a gatepost and rebounded. Dunlop then put pneumatics on both rear wheels of the tricycle. That too rolled better, and Dunlop moved on to larger tyres for a bicycle "with even more startling results." He tested that in Cherryvale sports ground, South Belfast, and a patent was granted on 7th December 1888. Unknown to Dunlop another Scot, Robert William Thomson from Stonehaven, had patented a pneumatic tyre in 1847.

Willie Hume demonstrated the supremacy of Dunlop's tyres in 1889, winning the tyre's first-ever races in Ireland and then England. The captain of the Belfast Cruisers Cycling Club, he became the first member of the public to purchase a bicycle fitted with pneumatic tyres, so Dunlop suggested he should use them in a race. On 18 May 1889 Hume won all four cycling events at the Queen's College Sports in Belfast, and a short while later in Liverpool, won all but one of the cycling events. Among the losers were sons of the president of the Irish Cyclists' Association, Harvey Du Cros. Seeing an opportunity, Du Cros built a personal association with J B Dunlop, and together they set up a company which acquired his rights to his patent.

Two years after he was granted the patent, Dunlop was officially informed that it was invalid as Scottish inventor Robert William Thomson (1822–1873), had patented the idea in France in 1846 and in the US in 1847. (see Tyres.) To capitalise on pneumatic tyres for bicycles, Dunlop and Du Cros resuscitated a Dublin-listed company and renamed it Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency. Dunlop retired in 1895. In 1896 Du Cros sold their whole bicycle tyre business to British financier Terah Hooley for £3 million. Hooley arranged some new window-dressing, titled board members, etc., and re-sold the company to the public for £5 million. Du Cros remained head of the business until his death. Early in the 20th century it was renamed Dunlop Rubber.

Though he did not participate after 1895, Dunlop's pneumatic tyre did arrive at a crucial time in the development of road transport. His commercial production of cycle tyres began in late 1890 in Belfast, but the production of car tyres did not begin until 1900, well after his retirement. J B Dunlop did not make any great fortune by his invention.

John Boyd Dunlop died at his home in Dublin's Ballsbridge in 1921 and is buried in Deans Grange Cemetery.

Although the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Company no longer exists as a corporate entity, the Dunlop name lives on in a number of Dunlop-branded products, including automotive, aerospatial, industrial and sporting products around the world. The Dunlop brand commonly appears as a corporate sponsor of international sporting events such as motor racing and tennis matches.

From the 1980s, Dunlop was commemorated in Northern Ireland when his image featured on the £10 banknote issued by the Northern Bank as part of its Inventor Series. The notes have been re-issued several times, and the banknotes bearing Dunlop's likeness (now issued by the Danske Bank) are still in circulation today.

In 2005, Dunlop was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

An avenue in the city of Campinas, in southeast Brazil, is also named after him; that is because a Dunlop tyre factory was established there in 1953.

Sir Samuel McCaughey

Sir Samuel McCaughey was a pastoralist, politician and philanthropist in Australia.

McCaughey was born at Tullynewey, near Ballymena, the son of Francis McCaughey, farmer and merchant, and his wife Eliza, née Wilson.

McCaughey came to Australia with an uncle, Charles Wilson, a brother of Sir Samuel Wilson and landed at Melbourne in April 1856. He immediately went to the country and began working as a jackaroo, in three months was appointed an overseer, and two years later became manager of Kewell station while his uncle was on a visit to England.

In 1860, after his uncle's return, he acquired an interest in Coonong station near Urana with two partners. His brother John who came out later became a partner in other stations.

During the early days of Coonong station McCaughey suffered greatly from drought conditions, but overcame these by sinking bores for artesian water and constructing large tanks and so was a pioneer of water-conservation in Australia.

In 1871 McCaughey was away from Australia for two years on holiday, and on his return did much experimenting in sheep-breeding, at first seeking the strains that could produce the best wool in the Riverina district, and afterwards when the mutton trade developed considering the question from that angle.

In 1880 when Sir Samuel Wilson went to England, McCaughey bought two of his stations, Toorale and Dunlop Stations. McCaughey then owned about 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km²). In 1886 when he again visited the old world he imported a considerable number of Vermont sheep from the United States, and he also introduced fresh strains from Tasmania.

In 1900 McCaughey bought North Yanco and at great cost constructed about 200 miles of channels and irrigated 40,000 acres (160 km²). The success of this scheme is believed to have encouraged the New South Wales government to proceed with the dam at Burrinjuck.

McCaughey had become a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council in 1899, and in 1905 he was made a Knight Bachelor. McCaughey suffered from nephritis and he died from heart failure at Yanco on 25 July 1919 and was buried in the grounds of St John's Presbyterian Church in Narrandera. He never married.

McCaughey was a generous philanthropist, he donated £10,000 to the Dreadnought Fund, £10,000 to Dr Barnardo's Homes, gave liberally to the Red Cross and other war charities besides insuring 500 soldiers at £200 each.

After his death, his estate was sworn for probate at over £1,600,000. Apart from bequests of £200,000 and all his motor vehicles to his brother John and legacies to his station managers and employees, he left £10,000 to increase the stipends of Presbyterian clergy, £20,000 to the Burnside Orphan Homes at Parramatta, £20,000 to Scots College in Sydney, £10,000 each to five other independent schools (Newington College, Sydney Church of England Grammar School, Sydney Grammar School, Cranbrook School, Sydney and The King's School, Parramatta), £5000 to the Salvation Army and £5000 each to seven hospitals.

Half the residue of his estate went to the University of Sydney (£458,000 from which nine chairs were created, including the McCaughey Chair of French) and to the University of Queensland. The other half went to the relief of members of the Australian Military and Naval Expeditionary Forces and their widows and children.

His portrait by John Longstaff is in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney.

McCaughey was also an important force in the development of the wool industry.

One of the schools which directly bears his legacy is Yanco Agricultural High School, located near Leeton, New South Wales. This school was founded around a building built by McCaughey to host The Duke of York during a planned visit to Australia. A life-size portrait of McCaughey is in the entry to this building.

Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson


Known as ‛Mourne’s Florence Nightingale’, Margaret Anderson was born in the townland of Ballinran, Kilkeel on 2Ist December I88I, to Joseph Anderson and Elizabeth Beck. She was the eldest daughter of a family of seven daughters and one son. At the age of thirteen Margaret went to Waringstown, Co. Down, to work as a medical receptionist. From there she travelled to the Leeds Union Infirmary where she trained as a nurse, qualifying as a SRN and obtaining also her state certificate in midwifery.

At the outbreak of the Great War, Margaret offered her services and at once was accepted, joining the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Reserve. For five years she did excellent work in the Mount Dore Military Hospital in Bournemouth, England, and despite having volunteered to go overseas, such was her dedication and devotion to duty at the Military Hospital that the authorities refused to let her go.

On I8th December I9I9 Margaret Anderson was awarded the Royal Red Cross, the highest decoration that could be conferred for nursing, from King George V at Buckingham Palace. His mother, Queen Alexandra also presented a book to Margaret, with a signed message of thanks for her service.

I9I9 saw Margaret fulfilling her wish to go overseas, and Sister Anderson left for Mesopotamia where until the end of I922, she continued in the nursing service with the British Expeditionary Force.

Upon her return to England she was appointed assistant matron at the Royal Infirmary, Truro, Cornwall but I925 saw Margaret return to her native Kilkeel, to become Matron of the temporary Silent Valley Hospital which had been established during the building of the reservoir.

By I932 Margaret Anderson had returned as matron to a hospital near Oxford, and remained there until the outbreak of war in I939. At the age of 58, she rejoined the Nursing Reserve and took part in several sorties across the English Channel during the evacuation of Dunkirk.

In later years she returned home to Kilkeel where she died at The Moor on I9th October I956. Nurse/Sister/Matron, Margaret Anderson is buried in the grave in the grounds of Mourne Presbyterian Church, the church where she was baptised and attended.

James Dawson Stelfox MBE

James Dawson Stelfox MBE


James Stelfox is an architect from Belfast. He is the former chairman of Consarc Design Group and in May 2008, he was elected President of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects.

He was born in Belfast in 1958, attended Rosetta Primary school, then Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and in 1976 began to read architecture at Queen’s University, Belfast. His first job was with the conservation architects, Consarc, which after a brief period of self-employment he rejoined in 1995. He came Chairman in 2002.

Among the many projects on which he has worked are Parliament Buildings, Stormont; Belfast's Christ Church; the Odyssey Arena; and the Ormeau Gas Works. Several of these projects have been premiated by the RIBA and the Belfast Civic Trust.

In 1993 he led an Everest expedition which contained climbers from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, supported by both Sports Council as well as private companies.

When he reached the peak of Everest via the North Ridge on 27th May 1993 he became the first person from Northern Ireland to do so.

He is past President and current Board Member of Mountaineering Ireland.

Sir Crawford McCullagh

The Rt Hon. Sir Crawford McCullagh, 1st Baronet (Aghalee, Co. Antrim) was a Unionist politician in Northern Ireland.

McCullagh started his career as an apprentice at the age of 14 in the drapery trade. He then became the director of several businesses in Belfast, including Maguire and Patterson, a dry goods firm (Vespa matches), and the Classic Cinema at Castle Place, as well as owning McCullagh and Co., a silk mercers, milliners and fancy drapery store taken over by Styles and Mantles in 1927.

He was elected to Belfast Corporation for the Irish Unionist Party. In 1911, he was the High Sheriff of Belfast, and from 1914 to 1917 Lord Mayor of Belfast.

According to The Belfast Telegraph at the time Sir Crawford called for a 'Five Minutes Silence' on 11 July 1916, following receiving news of the death of thousands of soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division at the Somme. He was the first recorded person to publicly call for a period of silence for fallen soldiers.

McCullagh was knighted on 19th May 1915, and created a baronet on 1st July 1935. At the 1921 Northern Ireland general election, he was elected for Belfast South for the Ulster Unionist Party.

From 1931 until 1942, McCullagh was again Lord Mayor of Belfast, which now entitled him to a seat in the Senate of Northern Ireland. He was Deputy Speaker from 1939-41. In 1938 he negotiated with Lord Shaftesbury a donation to the city of Belfast Castle and its demesne of 200 acres (0.81 km2) bordering on Hazelwood and Bellevue pleasure grounds. He also opened the Floral Hall. In 1941, he was appointed to the Privy Council of Northern Ireland. From 1943 until 1946, he served a final term as Lord Mayor.

Sir Crawford's elegant mansion, Lismarra, at Whitehouse, north of Belfast, was designed by Sir Charles Lanyon, It was later renamed Abbeydene following his death. It is currently being utilised as an exclusive guest house.

McCullagh’s son, Sir Joseph Crawford McCullagh (2nd Baronet of Lismara) (1907–1974), was probably the foremost authority on ornithology in Northern Ireland in the years preceding his death. He was Patron of the Northern Ireland Ornithologists' Club. He later built a house adjacent to his family home in the townland of White Abbey and took the 'Lismarra' name. The house still remains today.

McCullagh also had two daughters, Helen and Daisy and a son Joseph Crawford McCullagh who inherited the title. His great granddaughter Susan Cunningham has published his biography called Sir Crawford McCullagh - Belfast’s Dick Whittington.

John Wharry Dundee OBE

John Dundee was an anaesthetist and prolific medical researcher from Ballyclare, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Dundee was born the eldest son of a farmer, near Ballyclare, County Antrim. He was educated at Ballyclare High School, studied medicine at Queen's University Belfast, and undertook postgraduate studies at Liverpool, Oxford and Philadelphia. He graduated with a PhD from Liverpool University in 1957.

Dundee founded the Department of Anaesthetics at Queen's University Belfast in 1958. He was appointed Professor of Anaesthetics there in 1964—a post he held until his retirement in 1987. He worked as an anaesthetist in the Royal Victoria Hospital of Belfast, was a Fellow of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons, and was Dean of the Faculty of Anaesthetists at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He presented the Joseph Clover Lecture in 1988.

A frequent international traveller, Dundee developed a great interest in acupuncture. One of his most notable achievements was the discovery that appropriate use of acupressure can provide relief of morning sickness in pregnant women. His 1988 report on this work, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, demonstrates significant reduction of nausea and vomiting in a controlled trial.

Dundee originated many anaesthetic techniques which remain in use, and his extensive writings on the subject continue to be consulted. He was a principal researcher of the human and veterinary anaesthetic ketamine and assisted in the development of intravenous anaesthesia. He also assisted with the development of cyclomorph, a preparation combining morphine and cyclizine.

His "service to medicine in Northern Ireland" was acknowledged by the award of the Order of the British Empire in the 1989 New Year's Honours List. That year, he was also the first anaesthetist to be elected President of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. After his retirement, he was appointed Professor Emeritus and continued to undertake research into acupressure as an anti-emetic until his death, work which was sponsored by the Friends of Montgomery House, Belfast.

Besides receiving international awards and accolades in medicine, Dundee also held an internationally prestigious musical qualification (Associate of Trinity College London (ATCL). As a medical student, he had been an organist at Raloo Church near Larne. He continued to play the instrument in later life at church services throughout Northern Ireland, and he also sang in the choir at Windsor Presbyterian Church, Belfast. At various times, he was superintendent of Windsor Mission and a member of the board of Belfast City Mission. From 1985 to 1987, he was President of the Christian Medical Fellowship of UK and Ireland.

Sir Robert Hugh Hanley Baird KBE

Sir Robert Hugh Hanley Baird KBE

Newspaper Proprietor

Sir Robert Hugh Hanley Baird KBE was a newspaper proprietor from Northern Ireland. He was born in Belfast and educated at Model School and Royal Belfast Academical Institution. In 1869, he entered the firm of W. & G. Baird, Arthur Street, Belfast, and was present at the first publication of The Telegraph, on the 1st September 1870. Baird served as managing director of W & G Baird from 1886 until his death in 1934.

He founded and owned a series of newspapers, including: the Belfast Weekly Telegraph (1873), Ballymena Weekly Telegraph (1887), Ireland's Saturday Night (1894), Belfast Telegraph (1904), Irish Daily Telegraph (1904) and The Larne Times (1891).

Baird was a lifelong member and supporter of St George's Church, Belfast. He died in 1934 and is buried in Belfast City Cemetery. After his death a stained glass window by Clokey & Co. in Belfast was erected in his memory by the parishioners of his church, depicting the Good Samaritan.

George Lowden

George Lowden


George Lowden is a luthier based in Downpatrick, County Down. He constructs steel and nylon string acoustic guitars by hand without any UV finishing as well as solid-body electric guitars.

George Lowden was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland in 1952. He made his first guitar at the age of 10.

Lowden founded George Lowden Guitars in 1974 at the age of 22 and soon completed Lowden guitar serial No.1.

Initially Lowden produced his first guitars with A-frame bracing but from 1976 he began producing them with his own modified A-bracing system with a dolphin voicing profile which in many ways established the Lowden guitar's unique sound.

The first studio/workshop, in 6a High Street, Bangor employed four trainee guitar makers, Colin ‘Dusty’ Miller, Frank Kernaghan, Sam Irwin and Michael Hull. It produced approximately 100 guitars during this period, which can be identified by small blue rectangular labels.

Beginning in 1980, Lowden licensed manufacturing of his guitars to a small group of master luthiers in Japan, near Nagoya. Initially four models were soon being produced within a few years this had risen up to 15 and by the mid 1980s up to 1,000 Lowdens were being produced in Japan. In 1985, as a result of the rise in interest for all electronic instruments in music, sales of acoustic instruments slumped worldwide and the owners of the Japanese factory decided to close it and move production of Lowden guitars to a larger factory where other rival brands were made. Lowden was concerned about this outcome, and decided to try setting up a new factory in Northern Ireland. With little capital and through the help of an investor (David Jebb), he rented a building in the Balloo Industrial Estate in Bangor, County Down and began to employ and train new craftsmen.

The acoustic guitar market had begun to flourish again during the 1990s, but the company, significantly hampered by under-investment, had not been able to achieve its potential. In November 1998, keen to participate in a progressive plan to develop the business further, George Lowden, along with Steve McIlwrath and Alastair McIlveen set up a new holding company to buy a controlling interest in the Lowden Guitar Company. Lowden's vision was, "...that the company should become as good as the guitars themselves…"

In November 1998, a visitor to the factory showed up, guitar case in hand, with the Lowden guitar serial No.1, the very first guitar Lowden designed and built. This was an excellent reminder of how far the Lowden Guitar had come. As a celebration of this long journey, Lowden designed the 25th anniversary limited edition model. "My aim with the design and build details was to make available in reasonable numbers, a guitar which was as close as possible to the guitars which I am only able to build personally for a very few players each year under my full name. I therefore included as many as I could of the construction, voicing and cosmetic details, found in my own guitars in this limited edition of 101 instruments."

By this time, the community of Lowden enthusiasts had grown considerably. Players were attracted by Lowden's tone and quality, and by the fact that they were not mass-produced. To fulfill requests for ‘special edition’ Lowdens, Lowden designed the Millennium Twins. "As a luthier, I find that designing a few ‘special’ guitars does stretch my creative abilities and I enjoy that challenge. I believe this does help to develop the art of guitar making in a much wider sense as well. I introduced the limited edition Millennium twins with their matching sets of figured walnut back and sides and adjacent sets of redwood tops sourced from trees, which had fallen naturally."

In 2002 the company introduced the more affordable Avalon range.

In 2003, the licence with the Lowden Guitar Co ended and production of Lowden guitars at the Newtownards factory ceased at the end of December 2003.

Since 2004, Lowden guitars have been manufactured by a family-run company in Downpatrick, Co. Down.

Among the artists who have played Lowden guitars have been Jan Akkerman, Pierre Bensusan, David Gray, Michael Hedges, Jacques Stotzen, Richard Thompson, Luka Bloom, Dermot Kennedy, and Ed Sheeran.

Francis Fowke

Francis Fowke


Francis Fowke was an engineer and architect, and a Captain in the Corps of Royal Engineers from Belfast. Most of his architectural work was executed in the Renaissance style, although he made use of relatively new technologies to create iron framed buildings, with large open galleries and spaces.

Fowke was born in Ballysillan, Belfast. He studied at The Royal School Dungannon, County Tyrone, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers, and served with distinction in Bermuda and Paris. On his return to England, he was appointed architect and engineer in charge of the construction of several government buildings.

Among his projects were the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot, the Royal Albert Hall and parts of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. He was also responsible for planning the 1862 International Exhibition in London. The International Exhibition building was described as 'a wretched shed' by The Art Journal; The Crystal Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 being a hard act to follow.[citation needed] Parliament declined the Government's proposal to purchase the building; the materials were sold and used for the construction of Alexandra Palace.

Before his sudden death from a burst blood vessel, he won the competition for the design of the Natural History Museum, although he did not live to see it executed. His renaissance designs for the museum were altered and realised in the 1870s by Alfred Waterhouse, on the site of Fowke's Exhibition building.

He died in 1865 and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London.

A medal was issued by the Royal Engineers in 1865, as a memorial prize for architectural works carried out by members of the corps. With the demise of great architectural works the prize has transformed into the prize awarded to the top student on the Royal Engineers Clerks of Works course.

Professor Darwin Caldwell

Professor Darwin Caldwell

Researcher and Academic

Professor Darwin Caldwell, from Ballymena, is a noted international researcher and academic in robotics who is currently Research Director at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, Italy. He has been heavily involved as project leader in the development of the iCub, a small-size humanoid robot being designed by the RobotCub Consortium.

He has published over 600 papers and has received awards at several international conference and events. He is visiting professor at the University of Sheffield, King's College London, University of Wales Bangor and University of Manchester.

Caldwell studied at Ballymena Academy and then completed his B.Sc and Ph.D in Robotics from the University of Hull in 1986 and 1990 respectively, and completed an MSc in Management at the University of Salford in 1994.

His research interests include innovative actuators and sensors, haptic feedback, force augmentation exoskeletons, dexterous manipulators, humanoid robotics (iCub), bipedal and quadrupedal robots, biomimetic systems, rehabilitation robotics, telepresence and teleoperation procedures, and robotics and automation systems for the food industry.

He was previously at the University of Salford between 1989 and 2007 as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor of Advanced Robotics in the Centre for Robotics and Automation between 1999 and 2007.

He is currently Chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Chapter (UKRI) and a past co-chair of the IEE (IET) Robotics and Mechatronics. He is on the editorial board of Industrial Robot as well as being guest editor of several journals.

In association with Professor John Gray of the University of Salford, he was responsible for the establishment of the Yorkshire Forward funded Centre for Food Robotics and Automation (CenFRA).

Sir William Whitla

Sir William Whitla

Physician and Politician.

Born at The Diamond, Monaghan, William was the fourth son of Robert Whitla, a woollen draper and pawnbroker, and his wife Anne, daughter of Alexander Williams of Dublin. His first cousin was painter Alexander Williams RHA. Educated at the town's Model School, he was articled at fifteen to his brother James, a local pharmacist, completing his apprenticeship with Wheeler and Whitaker, Belfast's leading pharmaceutical firm. Proceeding to study medicine at Queen's College, Belfast, Whitla took the LAH, Dublin, and the LRCP and LRCS of Edinburgh in 1873.

With his qualifications he obtained a post as resident medical officer at the Belfast General Hospital. He next spent some time in London, at St Thomas's Hospital, where he met his future wife, Ada Bourne, daughter of George Bourne, a prominent Staffordshire farmer. She was a ward sister and friend of Florence Nightingale, and a member of the Salvation Army.

The pair were married in 1876, setting up house at 41, Great Victoria Street, Belfast, where Whitla established a general medical practice. He was awarded the MD of the Queen's University in 1877, with first class honours, gold medal, and commendation.

Whitla was appointed physician to the Belfast Royal Hospital and the Ulster Hospital for Children and Women in 1882. He held post at the Belfast Royal Hospital and in the Royal Victoria Hospital, of which it was the forerunner, until his retirement in 1918. The Whitlas' move in 1884 to 8, College Square North, was an indication of a success by no means near its zenith. He succeeded Seaton Reid as professor of materia medica at the Queen's College in 1890; he was twice president of the Ulster Medical Society. Appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26th June 1902, he was knighted by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Cadogan, at Dublin Castle on 11th August 1902. In 1906 Whitla was appointed a governor of Methodist College Belfast and he took a keen interest in the school's affairs. That year the Whitlas moved to Lennoxvale, a suburban mansion, they also retained the professional house in College Square. In 1919, he retired as Professor of Materia Medica in the university.

He served the British Medical Association as president (presenting each member who attended the annual meeting held in Belfast in 1909 with a copy of his most recent book, The Theory and Practice of Medicine, and entertaining them at Lennoxvale).

A strong unionist, he was elected to parliament in 1918, serving until 1923 as representative of the Queen's University at Westminster. He was appointed honorary physician to the king in Ireland in 1919 and was subsequently university pro-chancellor.

Sir William and Lady Whitla were childless, and they were wealthy. Together with his practice and books he had a flair for making wise investments, buying oil shares to his great financial advantage. The Whitlas travelled widely, visiting Russia, Canada, and many Mediterranean cities.

As a biblical scholar he contributed an introductory study of the nature and the cause of unbelief, of miracles, and prophecy to an edition of Sir Isaac Newton's Daniel and the Apocalypse published by John Murray in 1922. As the decade progressed his public appearances were fewer, and after a stroke in 1929 he was confined to his room. Lady Whitla died in 1932; he died at Lennoxvale on 11th December 1933, and was given a civic funeral two days later; he was buried at Belfast City Cemetery.

During Whitla's lifetime his gifts to his profession included the Good Samaritan stained glass window (commemorating the heroic behaviour of two Ulster doctors) erected in the Royal Hospital, and a building to house the Ulster Medical Society. At his death Lennoxvale was bequeathed to Queen's University as a residence for the Vice-Chancellor. The university also was his residuary legatee, and acted on his suggestion that the available funds should provide an assembly hall. The Sir William Whitla Hall was opened in 1949.

He also left £10,000 to Methodist College Belfast to build a chapel, library or hall. The Whitla Hall at the Methodist College was opened in 1935.

Colin Bateman

Colin Bateman


Colin Bateman is a novelist, screenwriter and former journalist from Bangor, County Down.

Born on 13 June 1962, Bateman attended Bangor Grammar School leaving at 16 when he was hired by Annie Roycroft to join the County Down Spectator as a "cub" reporter, then columnist and deputy editor. A collection of his columns was published as Bar Stool Boy in 1989.

Bateman has been writer novels since his debut, Divorcing Jack, in 1994. Divorcing Jack won a Betty Trask Award in the same year and was adapted into a 1998 film starring David Thewlis. Several of Bateman's novels featured the semi-autobiographical Belfast journalist, Dan Starkey.

His book Murphy's Law was adapted from the BBC television series Murphy's Law (2001–2007), featuring James Nesbitt. Bateman explains on his website that "Murphy's Law was written specifically for James Nesbitt, a local actor who became a big TV star through Cold Feet. The ninety-minute pilot for Murphy's Law on BBC 1 was seen by more than seven million people, and led to three TV series, on which I was the chief writer."

He has just completed the 8 part series Scúp, which he wrote in English but has been translated into Irish. It is in production by Sterling Films & BBC Northern Ireland. A second series has since been commissioned.

His children's book Titanic 2020 has been shortlisted for the 2008 Salford Children's Book Award.

Much of his work is produced under the name "Bateman" (rather than his full name); his 2007 novel I Predict a Riot bears (among others) the dedication: "For my Christian name, gone but not forgotten". Since 2016 Bateman has moved increasingly into film, writing the screenplays for 'The Journey', starring Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney, and 'Driven' starring Jason Sudeikis and Lee Pace. Both films were premiered at the Venice Film Festival and were also selected for the Toronto Film Festival. He is currently writing films about Fidel Castro in New York, 'The Hotel Theresa' and the British double agent George Blake.

Sir Ivan Whiteside Magill

Sir Ivan Whiteside Magill


Ivan Magill was an anaesthetist from Larne who is famous for his involvement in much of the innovation and development in modern anaesthesia. He helped to establish the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. Several medical devices are named after him.

Originally a general practitioner, he accepted a post at the Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, in 1919 as an anaesthetist. The hospital had been established for the treatment of facial injuries sustained in World War I. Working with plastic surgeon Harold Gillies, he was responsible for the development of numerous items of anaesthetic equipment but most particularly the single-tube technique of endotracheal anaesthesia. This was driven by the immense difficulties of administering "standard" anaesthetics such as chloroform and ether to men with severe facial injury using masks; they would cover the operative field.

History of the endotracheal tube

The original tubes were cut from a roll of rubber industrial tubing by his assistant, hence the natural curve of the tube. A curved metal adaptor was designed (Magill oral and nasal connectors) and a 4" black rubber connecting hose to fit to the anesthetic circuit was adapted from an MG car brake hose and named the 'catheter mount' by Magill's theatre technician at Westminster Hospital. Originally, there was no inflatable cuff. The tube was packed either side of the sub-glottis by two green anaesthetic swabs, with ribbon gauze sewn on by hand to aid extraction at extubation of the endotracheal tube. Anaesthetic gel or ointment was used to lubricate the tube and provide some relief for the patient's sore throat post-procedure.

Following the closure of the hospital, and the diminishing numbers of patients seen from the war era, he continued to work with Gillies in private practice but was also appointed to the Westminster and Brompton Hospitals, London. He was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1960. He was closely involved in the establishment of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland as well as the Faculty of Anaesthesia of the Royal College of Surgeons where he developed the Diploma in Anaesthesia, the first professional examination in the specialty. Doctors can still be awarded the Magill medal for outstanding performance in the December sitting of the Final Fellowship examination.

In 2010, a plaque marking his birthplace was unveiled in the town of Larne, Northern Ireland.

Stephen Leonard

Stephen Leonard


Steve Leonard is a veterinarian and television personality who was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.

Leonard's family moved to Cheshire from Northern Ireland when he was six weeks old. He was educated at St Thomas More School, Crewe.

Steve Leonard studied veterinary science at Bristol University Veterinary School. In the final year of his degree, the BBC approached the college to film a group of final-year students. Originally seeing the idea of appearing on TV as "a bit of a laugh," he agreed to participate in the filming. The series, Vets' School (1996), was a huge success, and was swiftly followed by Vets in Practice. He went on to present Vets in the Wild (2000–02) with Trude Mostue.

He quit full-time veterinary employment and found himself travelling all over the world with the BBC Natural History Unit, filming for Ultimate Killers. He travelled to places as far away as Indonesia and India. Filming Ultimate Killers involved stunts, such as tandem skydiving out of a balloon at 10,000 feet over Spain, and climbing into an eagle's eyrie in Panama.

Steve Leonard also presented Extreme Animals, and Animal Camera (2004), an intimate look at the animal kingdom through cutting-edge miniature camera filming techniques. More recently, he explored the origins and evolution of life on Earth in Journey of Life and followed animal migrations on Incredible Animal Journeys.

Steve and his elder brother Tom Leonard are currently working at the Leonard Brothers Veterinary Centre in Whitchurch, Shropshire, and Crewe, Cheshire. During the programme Return to... Vets in Practice, shown in July 2008, Steve explained that he had decided to return to being a vet full-time, and to fit his filming commitments around his veterinary career. He has recently returned from Borneo where he filmed a second series of Orangutan Diary with co-presenter Michaela Strachan.

In March 2009, Steve helped launch the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) network soil and earthworm survey, a scheme that aimed to get the public more involved in science and nature.

Leonard presented the ITV series Animal Kingdom. Filmed in Erindi Game Reserve, Namibia, the series was aired in 2011 and spanned six episodes.

Steve passed his BSAVA Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in 2017 with Distinction.

Dickson Roses

Dickson Roses

The company was founded in 1836 by Alexander I who came across from Perth, Scotland and set up business in Newtownards, Co. Down. His son, George I, with the assistance of his two eldest sons, Alexander II and George II, (there were eight sons and four daughters in the family) became fascinated with roses and started breeding around 1879. (This makes us the world's oldest rose breeding family, with Colin being the sixth generation to carry on the tradition.)

In 1886 George sent his son Alexander to London to exhibit three varieties of their raising at the National Rose Society Show. They were a red Hybrid Perpetual, "Earl of Dufferin", named for the Viceroy of India, a second red Hybrid Perpetual, "Lady Helen Stewart" and a pink Tea rose, "Ethel Brownlow". In 1885 Queen Victoria granted the company its first Royal Warrant, a distinction that continued unbroken until the end of the reign of King George VI.Many more famous roses were to follow, including: "Mrs. W. J. Grant" in 1892, "Hugh Dickson" in 1904 and "Shot Silk" in 1924.

Patrick Dickson started his successful career in 1957, and introduced many successful varieties such as "Sea Pearl" in 1964, following soon after with "Grandpa Dickson" in 1966, "Red Devil" in 1967 and "Redgold" also in 1967. This won an "All America" Award in 1969. Pat died in September 2012 and one of the true rose greats was lost.

Colin Dickson started in the breeding house in 1977 and he is still in charge. In recent years we have won eight Roses of the Year (seven of our own raising): 1983 - Beautiful Britain (Dicfire), 1991 - Melody Maker (Dicqueen), 1986 - Gentle Touch (Diclulu), 1993 -Dawn Chorus (Dicquasar), 1987 - Sweet Magic (Dicmagic), 1996 - Magic Carpet (Jaclover), 1990 - Harvest Fayre (Dicnorth), 2000 - Irish Eyes (Dicwitness), 2018 - Lovestruck (Dicommatac).

To celebrate the centenary of Northern Ireland Dickson Roses has produced this commemorative rose. It is hoped that the rose will be available to the general public from October 2021.

Frederick William FitzSimons

Frederick William FitzSimons


Frederick William FitzSimons was a Northern Ireland born naturalist, noted as a herpetologist for his research on snakes and their venom, and on the commercial production of anti-venom.

FitzSimons, born in Garvagh, emigrated to South Africa in 1881 and was educated in Natal and then returned to his homeland to study medicine and surgery for three years. However, he returned to Pietermaritzburg in 1895 without qualifying.

FitzSimons was appointed curator of the Pietermaritzburg Museum in 1897 from where he transferred to the Natal Government Museum. In 1906 he moved once more to the Port Elizabeth Museum as director. In 1918 he founded Africa's first snake-park there, which was also the world's second.

Of great interest at the time, FitzSimons' 1913 examination of and report on hominid skull fragments originating from Boskop near Potchefstroom, led to a flurry of speculation:

Twelve years ago there was discovered in the Transvaal a remarkable human skull of apparently great antiquity. Fitzsimons, of Port Elizabeth Museum, first described it as perhaps allied to the Neanderthal but without the large supra-orbital ridges. The skull was next sent to Cape Town on loan, where it was described at some length by Haughton as allied to the Cromagnon man. Shortly afterwards I examined it in Port Elizabeth, and, impressed by the huge size of the brain, the great thickness of the bone—in places 15 mm.—and certain remarkable features in the jaw, I thought it worthy of specific rank and named it "Homo capensis". Now the specimen has been sent to the British Museum for further examination, and there has just appeared a paper by Pycraft which will be regarded as the official British Museum report.

— Robert Broom,

Subsequently, many similar skulls were unearthed by prominent palaeontologists of the day, including Robert Broom, Alexander Galloway, William Pycraft, Sidney Haughton, Raymond Dart, and others. The current view is that Boskop Man was not a species, but a variation of anatomically modern humans; there are well-studied skulls from Boskop, South Africa, as well as from Skuhl, Qazeh, Fish Hoek, Border Cave, Brno, Tuinplaas, and other locations.

FitzSimons' anthropological work also included studies of the coastal Bushmen or Strandlopers who were ultimately displaced by the Khoikhoi.

FitzSimons' interest in snakes is probably what he is best remembered for, and when he established a snake park at the museum for visitors, it was also to study snakes and snake-bites. From this he became a published authority on South African snakes and their venoms and he patented a (now outdated) first-aid and serum treatment kit.

His son Vivian Frederick Maynard FitzSimons became director of the Transvaal Museum in 1947, had a particular interest in South African reptiles, and helped establish the Namib Desert Research Association. His other son, Desmond Charles FitzSimons, established the Durban Snake Park on the Golden Mile, Durban.

Frederick William FitzSimons is commemorated in the scientific name of a subspecies of lizard, Tetradactylus africanus fitzsimonsi.

William James Pirrie, 1st Viscount Pirrie,  KP, PC, PC

William James Pirrie was a leading British shipbuilder and businessman. He was chairman of Harland and Wolff, shipbuilders, between 1895 and 1924, and also served as Lord Mayor of Belfast between 1896 and 1898. He was ennobled as Baron Pirrie in 1906, appointed a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1908 and made Viscount Pirrie in 1921.

Pirrie was born in Quebec City, Canada East, the son of James Alexander Pirrie and Eliza Swan (Montgomery) Pirrie, who were both Irish. He was taken back to Ireland when he was two years old and spent his childhood at Conlig, County Down.

Belonging to a prominent family, his nephews included John Miller Andrews, who would later become Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Thomas Andrews, builder of the RMS Titanic, and Sir James Andrews, 1st Baronet, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Pirrie was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution before entering Harland and Wolff shipyard as a gentleman apprentice in 1862. Twelve years later he was made a partner in the firm, and on the death of Sir Edward Harland in 1895 he became its chairman, a position he was to hold until his death. As well as overseeing the world's largest shipyard, Pirrie was elected Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1896, and was re-elected to the office as well as made an Irish Privy Counsellor the following year. He became Belfast's first honorary freeman in 1898, and served in the same year as High Sheriff of Antrim and subsequently of County Down. In February 1900 he was elected President of the Chamber of Shipping of the United Kingdom, where he had been vice-president the previous year. He helped finance the Liberals in Ulster in the 1906 general election, and that same year, at the height of Harland and Wolff's success, he was raised to the peerage as Baron Pirrie, of the City of Belfast. The following year he was appointed Comptroller of the Household to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and in 1908 he was appointed Knight of St Patrick (KP).

Lord Pirrie was to travel aboard the Titanic, but illness prevented him from joining the ill-fated passage. Pro-Chancellor of The Queen's University of Belfast from 1908 to 1914, Lord Pirrie was also in the years before the First World War a member of the Committee on Irish Finance as well as Lieutenant for the City of Belfast (both 1911). During the war he was a member of the War Office Supply Board, and in 1918 became Comptroller-General of Merchant Shipbuilding, organising British production of merchant ships.

In 1921 Pirrie was elected to the Northern Ireland Senate, and that same year was created Viscount Pirrie, of the City of Belfast, in the honours for the opening of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in July 1921, for his war work and charity work.

Lord Pirrie married Margaret Montgomery Carlisle, daughter of John Carlisle, M.A., of Belfast, on 17 April 1879. In 1909, Lord Pirrie bought Witley Park, formerly the residence of Whitaker Wright. The letter P with a coronet above can be seen on metal gates and fence posts in the estate and previously-owned lands.

Pirrie built the Temple of the Four Winds near the Devil's Punchbowl, Hindhead. The octagonal plinth still remains. Lord Pirrie's nephew, Thomas Andrews, died on the Titanic. Pirrie himself died on 7 June 1924, at the age of 77 of bronchial pneumonia, at sea off Cuba, whilst on a business trip to South America. His body was brought from New York on the White Star Line's RMS Olympic, and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery. The barony and viscountcy died with him. Lady Pirrie died on 19 June 1935. A memorial to Pirrie was unveiled in the grounds of Belfast City Hall in 2006.

Stephen Myers OBE FREng

Stephen Myers OBE FREng

Electronic Engineer

Belfast born and Queen’s University Belfast graduate Dr Steve Myers is regarded by his peers as “the man who made the Large Hadron Collider work”. Myers is one of the scientists behind the recent discovery of Higgs Boson, the so-called ‘God Particle’.

He is director of accelerators and technology at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. Based near Geneva, this multinational scientific research facility collides particles in the 27km circumference tunnel at close to the speed of light to try to emulate the ‘Big Bang’. Data is recorded and analysed as scientists, led by Myers, seek to uncover the origins of the universe.

Myers earned a bachelor's degree in electrical and electronic engineering in 1968 from Queen's University, Belfast, and completed his Ph.D. there in 1972. Thereafter he worked at CERN. In September 2008, he was appointed CERN Director of Accelerators and Technology, and in 2014, he was appointed Head of CERN Medical Applications.

He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Geneva in 2001, by Queen’s University, Belfast in 2003, and by Dublin City University in 2017. In 2013 Queen's University, Belfast named him an honorary professor. He was elected as a fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2003, and of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012. He became an honorary member of the European Physical Society in 2013, and of the Royal Irish Academy in 2015.

He was awarded the Duddell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 2003. In 2010 he was awarded the International Particle Accelerators Lifetime Achievement Prize "for his numerous outstanding contributions to the design, construction, commissioning, performance optimization, and upgrade of energy-frontier colliders - in particular ISR, LEP, and LHC - and to the wider development of accelerator science".[5] With two other CERN directors he was jointly awarded the EPS Edison Volta Prize in 2012 and the Prince of Asturias Prize of Spain in 2013.

He became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2013.

Maureen Wheeler AO

Maureen Wheeler AO


Maureen Wheeler businesswoman from Northern Ireland, who co-founded Lonely Planet with her husband Tony Wheeler.

She was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and moved to London at the age 20, where she met her future husband, Tony Wheeler. They travelled from London through Europe and Asia, then on to Australia. That trip resulted in a guidebook Across Asia on the Cheap and laid the foundations of the travel publisher Lonely Planet.

They wrote their second book South-East Asia on a Shoestring. Tony Wheeler says: “Although we’ve continually refined the information organisation, and in 2004 pushed through a complete reorganisation and redesign, the pattern we established with that first serious book has remained remarkably consistent to the present day.”

Australia became their permanent home during the 1970s, but Maureen was convinced that they could never support themselves through Lonely Planet and began study at La Trobe University in February 1976 and completed a Bachelor of Social Work in 1980. Afterward, she committed herself full-time to developing the business.

Maureen says in 1979: "We moved into an office rather than working from our house, we took on a partner (Jim Hart), and we took on the India book which resulted in the biggest book on India that was ever seen. Up until then, there were three of us – all the books were stored in this little tin shed out the back and under the beds and everywhere else. It was a very amateur, home grown business." In 1981, with a staff of ten, Lonely Planet India was published, becoming an immediate best-seller.

After giving birth to her two children, the numerous questions Maureen received by parents wondering if travel had to be postponed until the children were older, prompted Maureen to write a guidebook. Her years of experience on the road with her children allowed her to write Travel With Children to give advice on how to make travel as stress-free as possible.

Over the next few decades Lonely Planet became a major publishing house, with offices in Melbourne, London and Oakland, over 500 staff members and 300 authors. The company sells six million books each year, 90 per cent overseas. Lonely Planet has printed more than 54 million copies of its 600 guides in 17 languages and has $85 million annual turnover.

Maureen organised two Lonely Planet travel summits in 1994 and 1997.

Maureen has been the driving force behind Lonely Planet's corporate contributions program established to provide financial assistance for humanitarian projects in developing countries. The next step of her philanthropy is in creating the Planet Wheeler Foundation by funding it with money from the sale of Lonely Planet to the BBC.

Sir Samuel Crowe Curran FRS, FRSE DL LLD

Sir Samuel Crowe Curran FRS, FRSE DL LLD


Sir Samuel Crowe Curran was a physicist and the first Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde – the first of the new technical universities in Britain. He is the inventor of the scintillation counter, the proportional counter, the proximity fuze. Colleagues generally referred to him simply as Sam Curran and latterly just as Sir Sam. To date, Curran remains the longest serving principal and vice chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, holding the post for 16 years, not counting his previous five years as principal of the Royal College of Science and Technology.

Samuel Curran was born on 23 May 1912 at Ballymena in Northern Ireland, the son of John Hamilton Curran (from Kinghorn in Fife, and his wife Sarah Carson Crowe (some sources state Sarah Owen Crowe). The family moved to Scotland soon after for his father to work as foreman of a steelworks near Wishaw. His brother Robert Curran, later a famous pathologist, was born soon after. He had two other brothers, Hamilton and John.

After schooling at Wishaw High School (where he was dux) he completed his first degree in mathematics earning first class honours, and a PhD in physics at the University of Glasgow, before taking a second PhD at the Cavendish Laboratory as a member of St John's College, Cambridge.

At the start of the Second World War Curran and Strothers went to work at the Telecommunications Research Establishment at Worth Matravers on the development of radar. In 1944, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley to participate in the Manhattan Project, developing the atomic bomb. There he invented the scintillation counter by adding a photomultiplier tube to an existing scintillation crystal which had previously been viewed by the human eye to obtain a radiation count. This device is widely used to this day to measure ionizing radiation.

After the war Curran worked at the University of Glasgow and at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston and invented the proportional counter in 1948.

In 1947 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Thomas Alty, Philip Dee, Robert A Houston and James W Cook. In 1953 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society.

In 1959, he took up the position of principal of the Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow which he led to full university status in 1964 as the University of Strathclyde, being appointed its first principal and vice-chancellor. In doing so, he helped create the first new university in Scotland for 381 years and the first technological university in Britain, thus initiating the trend of formation of modern technical universities in Britain. Curran was knighted in 1970. He remained at the university until his retirement in 1980, when he was succeeded in the role by Graham Hills. In his honour, the new building for the Andersonian Library was named after him the following year.

He was the recipient of at least five honorary doctorates including an LLD from both Glasgow University and Aberdeen University. Curran was the recipient of the 1976 St Mungo Prize, awarded to the individual who has done most in the previous three years to improve and promote the city of Glasgow.

Following the birth of a handicapped daughter, the Currans set up the Scottish Society for the Parents of Mentally Handicapped Children, now known as Enable Scotland, with Samuel Curran serving as its president from 1964 to 1991.

He was married to Joan Strothers, a scientist involved with the invention of anti-radar tactics such as Operation Window at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough. They married soon after his posting to Farnborough in 1940, having known her earlier during his Cambridge days.

Samuel Curran died on 15 February 1998 in hospital in Glasgow, aged 85.

David Perry

David Perry

Game Developer

David Perry video game developer and programmer from Northern Ireland. He became prominent for programming platform games for 16-bit home consoles in the early to mid 1990s, including Disney's Aladdin, Cool Spot, and Earthworm Jim. He founded Shiny Entertainment, where he worked from 1993 to 2006. Perry created games for companies such as Disney, 7 Up, McDonald's, Orion Pictures, and Warner Bros. In 2008 he was presented with an honorary doctorate from Queen's University Belfast for his services to computer gaming. He was the co-founder & CEO of cloud-based games service Gaikai, which was acquired by Sony Computer Entertainment. In 2017 Perry became the co-founder & CEO of a customer intelligence startup called GoVYRL, Inc. developing a new advanced brand dashboard called Carro.

Perry was born in April 1967 in Lisburn growing up in the towns of Templepatrick and Donegore in County Antrim, attending Templepatrick Primary School and then Methodist College Belfast.

He began writing computer game programming books in 1982 at the age of 15, creating his own games for the Sinclair ZX81. According to an interview with the BBC, Perry stated that his first game was a driving game, "a black blob avoiding other black blobs", which he wrote and sent to a magazine, which printed it. He sent them more games and they sent him a cheque for £450: a bit of a problem for a teenager who did not yet have a bank account. His work continued until he was offered a job for £3,500/year as an apprentice to a veteran programmer who taught him more advanced programming.

At the age of 17, he moved to London, where he developed games with Mikro-Gen and Probe Software for publishers such as Elite Systems and Mirrorsoft, working on titles such as the ZX Spectrum conversion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for NES and the Genesis version of The Terminator.

In 1991, he moved to the United States to work for the American division of Virgin Games, usually known as Virgin Games USA. While in there, he led the development duties for several award-winning games for the Genesis, including Global Gladiators, Cool Spot, and Aladdin. His work within Virgin Games USA also served as a basis for the development of other games such as the Sega CD version of The Terminator and the Genesis versions of RoboCop Versus The Terminator and Walt Disney's The Jungle Book, all of them developed after David Perry had left the studio.

On 1 October 1993, Perry formed his own company in Laguna Beach, California, Shiny Entertainment, naming the company after the song "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M. The company's first game Earthworm Jim was a hit, selling millions of copies on multiple platforms, including Genesis, Super NES and PC. The title character, an "average worm" who stumbles upon a space suit which turns him into a superhero, became immensely popular, and spawned a variety of other types of merchandise: action figures, comic books, and a syndicated television cartoon series.

Listing Perry in their "75 Most Important People in the Games Industry of 1995", Next Generation argued that his success had as much to do with his exceptional knack for public relations as his talent as a developer: "Perry often seems to benefit and suffer from a game press who seemingly can't hype him or his products enough. Is all the hype justified? Well, probably not. But that's not the point, the fact is that the press and gamers love him. Next Generation's opinion as to Perry's PR secrets? Always return phone calls, don't make promises you can't keep, and show a genuine interest in whomever you're talking to. Sounds easy? So how come hardly any actual PR people (let alone presidents and lead programmers) in the industry do the same?"

In 2002, Shiny Entertainment was acquired by Atari, Inc. for US$47 million, with Perry signed to a long-term contract to continue on as president. Also in 2002, Perry collaborated with The Wachowskis on games in coordination with their Matrix series of movies.

In 2006, he resigned from Shiny, and formed, a consultancy firm planning to offer executive level video game industry advice, followed by, a business-to-business company to help video game development teams get funded. He recounted, "I was working on a new game design for Infogrames (Atari) called Plague and was incredibly excited about it. Atari called and told me they had run out of money and so I offered to find a buyer for my team, they said they’d handle it and I moved on. The first phone call I had after leaving was with the Collective and they ended up buying Shiny."

Perry is on the advisory board for the Game Developers Conference, and has spoken at industry venues such as E3, CES, Hollywood and Games, Digital Hollywood, iHollywood, SIGGRAPH, Entertainment in the Interactive Age, What Teens Want, The Banff Summit, as well as at major universities such as USC, and MIT. In 2006, he co-hosted the annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Tommy Tallarico.

In November 2008, Perry co-founded Gaikai in the Netherlands, a company that released game streaming technology in late 2009.

In January 2016, Perry confirmed that he and Michael Jackson had been discussing making a video game together prior to the singer's death.

In July 2012 Gaikai was sold to Sony Computer Entertainment for $380 million.

In July 2017 Perry left Gaikai joining startup GoVYRL, Inc. to build new technology for brands to work with influencers, the technology is called Carro. GoVYRL, Inc. has seed investments from entities including The Cove Fund, Brendan Iribe and Alpha Edison.

Gladys Maccabe, MBE HRUA  FRSA MA(Hons) ROI 

Gladys Maccabe, MBE HRUA FRSA MA(Hons) ROI


Gladys Maccabe was a renowned artist from Northern Ireland.

Gladys MacCabe was born in Randalstown, County Antrim on 5 June 1918. Her mother Elizabeth was a designer in the linen business, and her father George Chalmers, a Scot, was a former army officer and artist specialising in calligraphy and illumination. One of her ancestors was the 18th-century Scottish painter, Sir George Chalmers.

MacCabe received a general education at Brookvale Collegiate in Belfast. She had a picture published in the Royal Drawing Society's magazine when she was 16 years old and went on to study sculpture and commercial art at the Belfast School of Art. In 1941 she married fellow artist, musician and childhood friend Max MacCabe. She and Max exhibited together on many occasions, starting with a group show at Robinson & Cleaver's department store in Belfast, 1942. The couple held their first joint exhibition in 1949 at London's Kensington Art Gallery. In the same year they also had a joint exhibition at the Dawson Gallery in Dublin.

In 1945 MacCabe and her husband Max joined the Campbell brothers Arthur and George, the Henry sisters, Olive and Margaret, Colin Middleton, Tom Carr, Maurice Wilks, James McIntyre and others, in the only official exhibition from the Ulster branch of the Artists' International Association sponsored by the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (NI) at the Belfast Museum.

The MacGaffin Gallery at Pottinger's Entry in Belfast was the venue for a group exhibition of experimental and modernist works with her husband, Nevill Johnson, Aaron McAfee and Olive Henry in 1946. MacCabe was one of seventy-three exhibitors when the Cultural Relations Committee took a touring exhibition of Contemporary Irish Painting to Rhode Island, Boston and to Ottawa.

Gladys and Max were members of the group of artists known as The Contemporary Ulster Group, which included Dan O'Neill, George Campbell, and Gerard Dillon, all of whom she had met during WW2. William Conor was also an associate and MacCabe painted his portrait in 1957. MacCabe and Olive Henry formed the Ulster Society of Women Artists in 1957 with ten invited artists, as she felt that there was an untapped wealth of talent among the women artists of Northern Ireland. MacCabe served as the Society's first President. The Society's first major exhibition was in the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery in 1959. MacCabe's son, Chris MacCabe, a prominent civil servant attended the society's sixtieth anniversary exhibition in 2017 as her representative.

During the 1960s Gladys was a fashion and arts correspondent working for newspapers and television. She was Northern Ireland Art Critic for the Irish Independent and the Irish News and wrote columns for the Sunday Independent, Leisure Painter and the Ulster Tatler. She was also fashion correspondent for the Belfast News Letter and BBC Northern Ireland.

MacCabe had a one woman show at the Emer Gallery, a commercial gallery in Belfast city centre, in the autumn of 1993.

Much of Gladys' work is concerned with the depiction of gatherings of people, whether at a race meetings, a fair or market, on the beach or in a shop. She has also painted flowers, still lifes, and a variety of abstract works.

During the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland in 1969, Gladys was moved to depict the scenes she saw around her at that time. In October 1969 four of her paintings were included in the annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London. These paintings were entitled Barricades, Blazing Warehouse, Petrol Bomb Sequel and Funeral of a Victim. Several of MacCabe's works were included in the centenary exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1982.

In 1989, a retrospective exhibition of her work was held at The George Gallery, Dublin. Entitled Gladys Maccabe, A Lifetime of Art, The Retrospective, the exhibition featured paintings dating from 1935 to 1989. She has also exhibited at the Paris Salon, the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Hibernian Academy, Oireachtas, and the Irish Exhibition of Living Art.

In 1961 Gladys was elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; and in 1980 she was awarded an Honorary MA degree by the Queen's University Belfast. She is also a Honorary Academician of the Royal Ulster Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and has received many other accolades including the 1984 World Culture Prize. Gladys was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the arts by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 21 November 2000.

Gladys MacCabe died on 22 February 2018, just a few months short of her one-hundredth birthday. MacCabe was survived by her son Chris, her daughter-in-law Jenny, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her husband Max predeceased her by eighteen years, and her son Hugh died in 2017.

Examples of her work are in The Ulster Museum, The Royal Ulster Academy, The Arts Council of Ireland Collection, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, The Imperial War Museum, National Self-Portrait of Ireland Collection, National Gallery of Ireland, and many other permanent collections.


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