The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

In The Press / Proactive

Ards and North Down Council "World Wars Trail"

Pleased to have assisted with Information and Photographs for this Free guide to some of the Sites.

Royal New Zealand Air Force "Air Force News" June 2017.

County Down Spectator 8th June 2017

Ulster Star 14th April 2017

Impartial Reporter, April 2017

Belfast News letter 5th April 2017

Antrim Guardian 16th March 2017

Ulster Star Newspaper 16th March 2017

The G.I. Trail - "The Hartle Trail"

Pleased to have been able to assist with this project retracing the footsteps of the American G.I.'s in Northern Ireland.

This is the Second Map in this ongoing Project - "The Hartle Trail"

A great quality map with lots of information and illustrations. 

County Down Spectator 16th February 2017

County Down Spectator 29th December 2016

County Down Spectator 8th December 2016

County Down Spectator 1st December 2016

County Down Spectator 24th November 2016

"All Along The Control Tower" Photobook

I was very pleased to provide Frans and Theo Barten with a number of photographs for this book.

The Northern Ireland Control Towers included are Ballyhalbert, Ballykelly, Bishopscourt, Cluntoe, Greencastle, Langford Lodge and Limavady.

A4 Size with photographs of each Control Tower and information regarding each Airfield. - Visit www.narwal.eu for more information.

The Time Chamber website

Happy to be able to assist this impressive website.

County Down Spectator 7th July 2016

Ulster Star 5th May 2016

County Down Spectator 5th May 2016

Belfast Telegraph 3rd May 2016

Mid Ulster Mail April 2016

"A Bombers Moon"

A pleasure to have been involved in this excellent project to mark the 75th Anniversary of the "Fire Blitz" on Belfast on the night of 4th May. 

The G.I. Trail - Retracing the steps of G.I.'s in Northern Ireland

Pleased to have been able to assist with this project retracing the footsteps of the American G.I.'s in Northern Ireland.

A great quality map with lots of information and illustrations. 

Linfield Football Club Website 

Very Pleased to be featured on the Linfield Football Club website. 

County Down Spectator 21st January 2016.

Belfast "News Letter" 6th January 2016

Carrickfergus Times Article 26th December 2015.

County Down Spectator 24th December 2015

Belfast Live

October 2015

Very pleased to see that my website has merited a mention on Belfast Live!

Lurgan Mail 17th September 2015

"County Down Spectator" 3rd September 2015.

Royal Air Forces Association Newsletter September 2015

B.F.B.S. Radio Interview

Really enjoyed my British Forces Broadcasting Service debut! 

"Larne Times" 27th August 2015.

Brownlow Headquarters Museum, Lurgan

I was pleased to be able to provide some information and photographs for the Brownlow Headquarters Museum at Brownlow House, Lurgan and honoured to attend the official opening ceremony.

Above you can see the American Consul General Daniel Lawton officially opening the Museum.

To his left is Mr David Martin, the Chairman of the Friends of Brownlow House and Lord Mayor of Armagh Darryn Causby.

The two gentlemen in the foreground are (L) Flight Lieutenant Bill Eames from Enniskillen who served with 570 Sqn Royal Air Force.

Bill towed a Glider to Normandy on the night of 5th / 6th June 1944 and was also at involved in Operation Market Garden at Arnhem.

Teddy Dixon (R) served with 42nd Rainbow Division, 7th United States Army. He landed in France in December 1944 and was one of the first soldiers to liberate Dachau Camp. He later guarded the treasures which had been hidden by the Nazis in Caves.

Northern Constitution, Limavady

"Ulster Star" Newspaper, Lisburn 18th June 2015

Solving the puzzle of Lisburn war grave

An historian researching the Second World War is hoping local people might be able to help him with a particularly puzzling Lisburn grave .

Andy Glenfield, who runs the website The Second World War in Northern Ireland (www.ww2ni.webs.com), has been cataloguing and detailing information about servicemen who died in Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

“My intention is to show people that rather than having to travel to some far off field to see evidence of the war there is plenty to find here in Northern Ireland and indeed people died through direct Enemy Action in Belfast, Newtownards, Londonderry and Bangor,” explained Andy.

“I research places throughout Northern Ireland then visit and photograph what remains and put this together on my website.”

The website includes a number of entries about soldiers and military facilities in the Lisburn area, including Knockmore, Glenavy, Maghaberry Airfield and RAF Long Kesh.

Andy is keen to make sure the information is as complete as possible and he hopes the people of Lisburn will be able to help him in his efforts.

During a recent visit to the city, Andy came across a grave in Lisburn Cemetery which he found unusual.

“I was in Lisburn Cemetery and was surprised to see that the Headstone of Corporal S. Dougherty, Royal Engineers shows that he was killed on 22nd May 1945, which is after ‘Victory in Europe’ Day,” Andy continued.

“Having done some research I have found that he was a Corporal with 4 Bomb Disposal Company of the Royal Engineers, originally from Enniskillen, and may have lost his life while involved in Mine Clearance Operations in Norfolk.Corporal Dougherty was the Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Dougherty and was married to Annie Dougherty.”

However, Andy is keen to learn more about Corporal Dougherty and is hoping that someone in Lisburn might have some information they would like to share.

“Having gone through all that had happened during the war,” he said, “ I find this particularly upsetting and wonder if anyone can provide me with any other information about this very brave man?

County Down Spectator

Always Pleasing to be able to Help 29th April 2015

Discovery of lost diary reveals little known Bangor sea tragedy
THE discovery of a family archive has helped Princetown Road resident Deirdre Pringle uncover a largely forgotten tragedy at sea which claimed the lives of four local men close to the Bangor shore back in 1943.

Deirdre was looking through the diary of her grandfather Charles Gilpin, written while he lived at Maxwell Road, when she came across an intriguing entry made on Saturday, May 8, 1943.

It read, ‘Very wet and stormy day. I have never seen such seas in Bangor. Four men lost their lives in small boat in the bay. Part of Bangor pier washed away. Also heavy rain’.

Said Deirdre, “I have never heard of four men being lost in Bangor bay and it seems incredible that a May gale could result in such loss of life so close to shore.”

An internet search led Deirdre to the belief that the crew were from Donaghadee but unable to find out anything further she asked us to put the matter to our Facebook audience to see if they could shed any light on the tragedy.

Craig Allen posted a response to say that the boat in question was a pilot vessel by the name of ‘Miss Betty’. He included a helpful link to http://ww2ni.webs.com/countydownpart5.htm which explained that the vessel had left Bangor at 9.55am to assist a ship entering Belfast Lough.

It revealed, “The “Miss Betty” was owned by The Admiralty and crewed by Harry Aiken of Bow Street, Donaghadee, William George Nelson of East Street, Donaghadee and William White of Mount Street, Donaghadee, along with William Anderson of Crosby Street in Bangor.

‘The crew consisted of Aiken as deckhand, Nelson coxwain, White as pilot and Anderson was the engineer.

‘The boat had been experiencing heavy seas and finally at 11.30 it was struck broadside by a wave and capsized with the loss of all hands.

‘Three bodies were recovered in Bangor however the body of William Anderson was washed ashore in Portpatrick and he is remembered on the Bangor War Memorial’.

The memorial stones to the remaining crew can be found in Donaghadee Church Graveyard, according to the site.

As for Charles Gilpin, the man whose diary entry has resurrected memories of the tragedy more than 70 years later, he and his father owned a furniture shop, Gilpin’s, in Sandy Row, Belfast, at the time he wrote about the sinking of the Miss Betty.

His granddaughter Deirdre now lives in the house her grandfather was to later build on Bangor’s Princetown Road and came across the diary quite by chance when the house was being cleared.

She elaborated, “The diary is just full of his business meetings and stuff relating to his church (he attended Ebenezer Gospel Hall in Church Street) and sometimes some observations about how the war was going.

“He had a fair amount of ill health during his younger years (I think he had TB) but very much enjoyed boats and boating. They moved to Princetown Road in the 50s, built a house here in the 80s, and he died in 1984.

“My gran continued to live in the house until about three years ago when she moved into a nursing home, and the year after my husband and I moved in.”

Belfast Telegraph

Tyrone Courier Re War Dead. 

"Defending The Causeway Coast" Booklet. 

Very pleased with the outcome of this project regarding the Military Heritage of our North Coast.

Look out for copies of this 34 page Booklet in various Tourist Information Centres.

Remembering their Sacrifice in the Second World War - The War Dead of North Down and Ards.

Happy to have been able to provide a little assistance to Barry Niblock who is the Author of this fantastic book.

Bangor Memorial

It is very pleasing to see that this Memorial has been erected in Ward Park, Bangor.

Particularly because it refers to the Civilians who died as a direct result of Enemy Action in Bangor.

Kinderfarm Update.

Very pleased to see that this Campaign has been a Success and that the Kinderfarm has been granted Listed Status.

Well done to all involved.

Grey Point Fort

Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day at Crom Castle, Newtownbutler

I was Honoured to have been able to attend the 70th Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration at Crom Castle.

It is always very pleasing to see that steps are being taken to both preserve and mark the involvement of Northern Ireland in the Second World War.

Thanks very much to all involved - An excellent day.

County Down Spectator

Appeal for recognition of those killed by Enemy Action in Bangor

"Tom. A Life Saved - Lives Lost" by Goffinet McLaren

This is the story of Sergeant Tom Hutton, from Carrickfergus, who was a member of Royal Air Force Bomber Command.

On Friday 16th April 1943 his Lancaster Bomber was on a raid to the Skoda Works at Plzen in Czechoslovakia when it was hit by Flak.

With an engine fire and the aircraft becoming more difficult to control on the return leg towards base the Captain realised things were useless and gave the order "Pilot to Crew. Prepare to bail out"

Tom landed uninjured in the area of Aix-Sur-Cloie in Belgium and this book tells the story of his Escape and Evasion behind enemy lines.

An impressive publication written by Tom's daughter Goffinet who is named after Father Georges Goffinet who was a member of the Belgian Resistance Organisation who helped Tom return safely to base. - Available on Amazon.


Kinderfarm at Millisle

I was happy to be able to assist this campaign with a photograph of the farmhouse.

I hope this campaign is successful!

"Farm that saved hundreds of children from holocaust must be saved


The Alliance Party has said the Environment Minister must give Kindertransport Farm, Millisle, listed status - securing its future as one of Northern Ireland’s important historical sites.
Strangford MLA Kieran McCarthy and I have written to the Minister urging him to take action, recognising Northern Ireland’s contribution to saving children’s lives during the Holocaust.

[[PASTING TABLES IS NOT SUPPORTED]]From 1938 to 1948 nearly 300 Jewish children were saved by passing through Magill’s farm on the Woburn Road Millisle, thanks to Kindertransport. A garden recognising this link already exists in Millisle Primary School, while the book ‘Faraway Home’ - authored by Marilyn Taylor - details the Millisle Kindertransport farm story. However only listed status will secure the future of the local site.


Kieran McCarthy said: “I am encouraged by the Environment Minister’s response, which details the latest listing query on Kindertransport Farm is still on-going. If listed status is granted the owners will be able to seek financial assistance to repair and restore the building under the terms of the Listed Building Grant-Aid Scheme.

“With the farm closely linked to the Holocaust and Northern Ireland’s contribution to saving up to 300 Jewish children, it is of vital importance that the buildings which saved the lives of so many are retained, repaired and restored for future generations to understand the horrors of the Holocaust and the ray of Hope NI provided at Magill’s farm.

I added: “Kindertransport Farm is an important part of Northern Ireland history. After concerns were expressed about the state of the farm buildings, I contacted my Party colleague Kieran McCarthy who followed up on the issue with the Environment Minister.

“After two failed attempts over the years, I welcome the fact Kindertransport Farm is still under consideration for listed status. The Alliance Party believes this is an essential move to secure its part in Northern Ireland’s war history.”
Article kindly covered by Belfast Telegraph on Friday 24 May 2013.

Belfast Telegraph

Monday, 23 July 2012


I was disgusted to learn that some narrow-minded, blinkered individuals took it upon themselves to burn Polish flags on bonfire night.

These people should take the time to visit cemeteries in Belfast, Newtownards or Ballyhalbert, where they will see the graves of Polish airmen who died here in Northern Ireland when serving in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

I have full details on my website The Second World War in Northern Ireland www.ww2ni.webs.com

I wish to take this opportunity to apologise to the Polish people for the behaviour of these individuals.

A Time To Remember

Dig WW2 BBC Television Series and Accompanying Book

I am very pleased to have been able to assist the Television Production Company researchers as well as Jean Hood and the publishers with this project.

BBC Television Points Of View Comment

Congratulations to Dan Snow and all at the BBC for what was an excellent series.

Well presented in such a way as to keep the viewer interested throughout.

With the series concentrating on the involvement of Northern Ireland during the Second World War I am rather disappointed that everyone throughout the United Kingdom was not permitted to watch the entire series however I believe that the Beeb have plans to edit the series down to one programme for this purpose.

The variety of subject matter was extensive and as well as discussing what happened during the War in my opinion it was most significant to illustrate the tangible evidence that remains to be seen.

Well Done BBC!

Dedication of Memorial to 70th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers killed during Air Raid on Newtownards Airfield on 15th April 1941.

Jake Booth who lives in Houston, Texas and whose Mother was a sister of Ernest McNeill who was killed in the raid. - For more details see Newtownards Air Raid section.

Letter To Tourist Board

Belfast Telegraph Letter

Bangor War Memorial in Ward Park

Britain At War Magazine following the erection of the Memorial.

Newtownards Chronicle