Ulster Tower by Helen Runciman

Ulster Tower Limited Edition Sculpture

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the Ulster Tower we are pleased to announce that, in conjunction with The Somme Association & Somme Museum, the renowned Scottish artist, Helen Runciman, has been commissioned to produce a Special Edition sculpture of the Ulster Tower.

Helen is a full-time professional artist based in Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Her work ranges from small delicate watercolours to large mysterious oil paintings. Her subject matter is varied and, although now working mainly figuratively, her work encompasses landscapes, seascapes and street scenes.

Helen is well known to our charity as she was commissioned to produce a bronze bust of Rifleman William McFadzean VC in 2017. In 2020 she was once again commissioned to produce a bronze bust of Sir James Craig, Lord Craigavon.

The Limited Edition hand embellished cast resin sculptures are approximately 8 inches tall.

Each sculpture is individually numbered and is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

If you would like to pre-order one of these fantastic works of art please click the link below.


Ulster Tower ~ 100 Years

Brownlow House - 2nd September 2021

The Ulster Tower is Northern Ireland's national war memorial. It was one of the first Memorials to be erected on the Western Front and commemorates the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division and all those from Ulster who served in the First World War. The memorial was officially opened on 19th November 1921 and is a very close copy of Helen's Tower which stands in the grounds of the Clandeboye Estate, near Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland. Many of the men of the Ulster Division trained in the estate before moving to England and then France early in 1916.

The Division attacked the Schwaben Redoubt, which is near the Ulster Tower, on 1 July 1916. The Schwaben Redoubt was a little to the north-east of where the tower stands, and was a triangle of trenches with a frontage of 300 yards, a fearsome strongpoint with commanding views. It is also located close to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

The front lines were at the edge of Thiepval Wood which lies to the south-west of the road between the Thiepval Memorial and the Ulster Tower. Troops of the 109th Brigade crossed about 400 yards of no man's land, and kept on going. They entered the Schwaben Redoubt, and advanced on towards Stuff Redoubt, gaining in all around a mile, though not without losses. To their left, the 108th Brigade were successful in advancing near Thiepval, but less so nearer the River Ancre.

The 107th Brigade supported them, but although men of the 36th Division held out for the day the Germans mounted counterattacks, and as their stocks of bombs and ammunition dwindled, many fell back with small parties remaining in the German front lines. The casualties suffered by the 36th Division on 1 July totalled over 5,000.

At the entrance to the tower is a plaque commemorating the names of the nine men of the Division who won the Victoria Cross during the Somme. There is also a memorial here commemorating the part played by members of the Orange Order during the battle. The inscription on this memorial reads:

"This Memorial is Dedicated to the Men and Women of the Orange Institution Worldwide, who at the call of King and country, left all that was dear to them, endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of man by the path of duty and self sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in Freedom. Let those who come after see to it that their names be not forgotten."

The memorial tower was designed by architects Albert Leigh Abbott and J.A. Bowden.

The Ulster Memorial Tower was dedicated at a ceremony on Saturday 19th November 1921, almost exactly two years after the meeting at the Old Town Hall in Belfast decided to have such a monument on the battlefield. The memorial was unveiled by the Chief of the Imperial General Staff of the British Army, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson.

To commemorate this historic event the Ancre Somme Association are hosting an evening of words and music in Brownlow House, Lurgan, on the 2nd September 2021 at 7pm.

Special guest will include Carol Walker MBE and singer/songwriter Mark Savage.

Due to Covid-19 government restrictions we can only allow limited numbers into this event. If you would like to attend this event we would urge you to reserve your ticket at the earliest opportunity to avoid disappointment.

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We are always looking for people from a variety of backgrounds who feel they have something to give to the Ancre Somme Association. Our Volunteers are of all ages and backgrounds. There is no specific experience required to becoming a Volunteer. All you need is a passion to support our Charity.

As a small charity, Volunteers are vital to us to help raise our profile - and awareness - throughout the UK.  If you would like to become a member why not send us a message today.


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Ancre Somme Association

Brownlow House

Windsor Avenue



BT67 9BJ



Email: [email protected]