Formed to oppose the implementation of Home Rule by military force if necessary, James Craig and Sir Edward Carson were prominent members of its leadership. Guns were procured and landed at Larne in April 1914. The outbreak of World War I and the suspension of Home Rule resulted in the UVF becoming the 36th (Ulster) Division of the British Army.
The division was all but wiped out in the Battle of the Somme (July-November 1916). The UVF was re-established in 1966 by Gusty Spence, amongst others. It immediately declared war on the IRA but was banned by Prime Minister Terence O'Neill in June of that year. It called a cease-fire in October 1994 under the auspices of the Combined Loyalist Military Command.
Since 1912 until the present day, the Ulster Volunteer Force has produced volunteers - both men and women - who had the courage and honour to make the supreme sacrifice of giving up their lives that others may have their religion, liberties, freedoms and laws safeguarded.
Volunteers who suffered thousands of casualties and fatalities while fighting for King and Country in foreign lands during the First World War at a time when Britain denied them.
Volunteers who laid down their lives whilst on active service in the war against the violent Irish Nationalist/Republican movement and those who were incarcerated in Crumlin Road,
Longkesh, Magilligan and other concentration camps - their only crime being loyalty.
Volunteers who forced Sinn Fein/I.R.A. to withdraw their military actions in the shape of the present ceasefires brought about by methods of terrorizing the terrorist. A hard, but necessary lesson for the violent Nationalist/Republican movement to learn and one which cost so many lives to both sides.
We salute them and hope they are not called upon to make any further sacrifices.
FOR THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD AS WE THAT ARE LEFT GROW OLD. AGE SHALL NOT WEARY THEM NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN.
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, AND IN THE MORNING.
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM.
FOR GOD AND ULSTER.