We Were Brothers
We Were Brothers: WW1 A Shared Heritage is a play, a DVD, a book, an interactive website and a youth project, that remembers the heritage of soldiers from both the Unionist and the Nationalist traditions who served side by side with the British army in World War 1, as members of the Ulster Battalions or the Irish Volunteers.
In June 1917, soldiers from the Ulster and Irish battalions of the British army fought side by side for the first time, at Messines, to liberate Belgium from German occupation.
Around four thousand Derry men fought in World War 1. Their reasons for putting on a British uniform were as individual as the soldiers themselves. The We Were Brothers project remembers a generation of young men from the North West who put aside the ties of religion and politics and, somehow, found a common humanity in the unimaginable horror that was the Western Front.
The play based on the events was written by Felicity McCall and was originally performed in the Waterside Theatre in November 2009. It was directed by Bernie Mahon and starred James Lecky, Gerry Dorrity, Peter E Davidson, Shaun Coyle, Peter McDonald, Ryan Boyd and Sean Canning.
The project secured National Lottery funding to continue with the project, after winning the Award for Best Heritage in the category.