In September, 2012, twin brothers William & Kevin Farrell, were returning home to New England after attending 911 Memorial Services with their brother Michael, a retired New York City Fire Marshal when they decided to stop at Bronx Community College to see the Hall of Famous Americans. Having grown up in Brooklyn, the City of New York is always home to them and they care deeply about it. While walking around the beautiful campus of BCC, they noticed a flagpole high on a hill. Out of curiosity, they decided to check it out further. Upon walking to the top of the hill, they noticed that the flagpole was surrounded by four cannons. They figured the site was a monument of some sort. Upon further investigation they realized the whole site was in a sad state of disrepair.
Both Kevin & Bill are combat veterans of the Vietnam War with Bill having retired from the Army. They realized what a valuable monument this was and decided to look into this further. Upon contacting the President of Bronx Community College, they were informed that the college does not have the money to maintain, let alone restore the monument as much as they would like to. When asked if they could initiate an effort to restore the monument, the college welcomed the idea. While the college is behind the project, it is up to us to raise the funds privately and this is what we are trying to do. The Bronx Irish Heritage Society has pledged some monies to our efforts.
Fort Number 8 is a Revolutionary War built by the British in 1776 on one of the highest points in the Bronx, University Heights, Fordham, Bronx, also known as Battery Hill with a clear view across the river to Manhattan. It was an earthen four pointed star fort with abatis and was eventually abandoned by the British in 1782. The mound of dirt is all that remains of the fort and upon which this monument rests. It turns out the flagpole was the mast from the Shamrock IV, Sir Thomas Lipton’s Americas Cup contender yacht. Sir Thomas Lipton, the founder of Lipton Tea was a ferocious Americas Cup contender. While he never won, he was persistent in his efforts. The campus of BCC is the former home of New York University. On June 6th, 1925, Sir Lipton dedicated the mast and monument to commemorate the site of Fort Number 8 and the services of New York University men and their British allies who fought so valiantly in the Great War.
The ultimate goal of the project is to raise enough money to fully restore the flagpole, cannons and grounds of the monument. The cannon and site are part of America’s history and should be preserved as the memorial it was originally intended for, the brace soldiers of World War I.