The Second World War in Northern Ireland

The Second World War in Northern Ireland

Museums

Brownlow Headquarters Museum, Lurgan

The impressive Brownlow House now has an equally impressive "Brownlow HQ" Museum.

The displays and presentations are most informative giving the visitor an insight into what was happening in the Lurgan Area during WW2.

The displays and presentations are most informative giving the visitor an insight into what was happening in the Lurgan Area during WW2.

See if you can find this comparison in the Car Park. Brownlow House is well worth a visit!

Picture of U.S. Officers from Belfast Telegraph - Click on below for more details.

(Picture from http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/exhibition-recounts-the-gi-invasion-of-ulster-31445385.html )

Royal Irish Fusiliers Regimental Museum

Castle Archdale Visitor Centre, Lisnarick

A visit to Castle Archdale is simply something which anyone interested in Northern Ireland's Second World War history MUST include! - The area is now a Country Park and retains many of the features connected to its WW2 history as illustrated in the County Fermanagh section of this website.

The Visitor Centre should not be missed!!

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Regimental Museum, Enniskillen

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Regimental Museum, The Castle, Enniskillen, BT74 7HL. This Top Class Museum is definately Recommended!

A considerable effort has gone into the exhibits and facilities and the people are very helpful.

There has been a major increase in exhibits since my previous visit and I feel obliged to mention this one specially!

This is a German 77mm Light Artillery Gun which was captured during WW1 by the Inniskillings.

Note the warning on this plate regarding recoil!

Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum, Enniskillen

Here is a Great Northern Railway Warden's Helmet along with a document relating to Auxiliary Bomb Disposal Units.

Other exhibits include Train Tickets issued to U.S. Military Personnel - Call at 5 Darling Street, Enniskillen to see the Museum or even have a Haircut!

The Somme Heritage Museum, Conlig

I suggest that no visit to Northern Ireland would be complete without a visit to the excellent "Somme Heritage Museum" which is located at 233 Bangor Road, Newtownards, County Down.


As well as an extensive display of First World War memorabilia there are also displays relating to the Second World War and other conflicts.


Facilities include a Restauraunt, tiolets and shop.


Look out for occasional film shows and lectures.


If you have enquiries regarding family members who served and perhaps died during the First World war the staff at the Centre are willing to assist with information relating to regimental history.

Royal Ulster Rifles Museum, Belfast

Northern Ireland War Memorial Home Front Exhibition

North Down Museum

North Down Museum is a small Museum which has a small collection regarding the Second World War however this is supplemented on occasions by Temporary Exhibitions.

There has previously been such an Exhibition relating to the involvement of Polish Forces in Northern Ireland whilst in the first few months of 2017 is a display relating to the Kinderfarm at Millisle and incorporating Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January.

Refer to the Ards and North Down Council Website for information regarding such Exhibitions.

Ulster Museum, Belfast.

This museum was closed for almost 3 years until October 2009 for renovation and improvements.

Anyone looking for information and exhibits relating to the Second World War would be best advised to look somewhere else as the display representative of this huge slice of our history in this museum consists of one display case with about a dozen very common items, most of which could probably be found in Great Grandad's attic.

Not worth the wait.

January 2017 Update - It has been six years since my last visit and I was hoping things would have improved however, on the contrary, anyone with an interest in the involvement of Northern Ireland during the Second World War will now find absolutely Nothing.

When you consider that the 26th January 2017 will be the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of around 300,000 American Forces in Belfast this is difficult to understand.

On arrival they moved to various locations around Northern Ireland for Training prior to taking part in the Invasion of Normandy in "Operation Overlord" - See Other Museums.

U.S. Rangers Centre, Carrickfergus

Not what I would call a Museum but a small collection of exhibits and information relating to the formation of the U.S. Rangers in Carrickfergus. 

Some very interesting items on display and if the Visitor has no knowledge of the creation of this Elite Fighting Unit here in Northern Ireland then this is certainly a place which will whet the appetite to learn more.

With access being only by prior arrangement (By Telephoning 02893 358049) I cannot help but think it would achieve many more visitors if moved to the Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre.

Ulster Aviation Society Collection

The U.A.S. Collection is held in a Second World War Hangar at the old WW2 Long Kesh Airfield! Aircraft on display include the following Aircraft - Canberra, Wessex and Alouette helicopters, Shorts Tucano,Vampire, Seahawk, Buccaneer and a WWII Wildcat with the latest aquisition being a Fairey Gannett. There are uniforms, wreckology a mass of interesting plaques, maps and pictures.

Lisburn Museum.

With the Lisburn area having such a rich military history and being home to Army Headquarters as well as few very important Airfields, which are mentioned in detail in other sections of this website, I was looking forward to seeing some really interesting exhibits and perhaps learning something new regarding the Second World War.

How disappointed I was to find the grand total of 2 pictures, a group of medals and some badges.

Another one to avoid - There is more military history in the Park up the street!

Down County Museum and Historic Gaol.

A small but very impressive museum with a reasonable amount of items (More than the Ulster and Lisburn Museums put together) relating to the Second World War.


A good local input and as I have mentioned in the main website the museum itself was actually used as billets for American Soldiers.


The items in this picture are an American issue Bayonet in scabbard which was issued to Captain Ralph Parkinson-Cumine and the other items shown here include a Black Panthers shoulder flash as worn by Joseph Gordon of Company B 818th Tank Destroyers. 


Well Done Down!!


Tower Museum, Londonderry

The aircraft engine on display is from the Spitfire which was piloted by American Airman Roland "Bud" Wolfe who was serving with one of the Eagle Squadrons of the Royal Air Force based at Eglinton.

This particular Spitfire - P8074, had been one of eight gifted to the Royal Air Force by British Member of Parliament and Canadian businessman W Garfield Weston.

Bud Wolfe was able to parachute to safety when his aircraft crashed into a bog in Donegal on 30th November 1941.

***Please note there are now NO references to WW2 at the Workhouse Museum, other that the Torpedo which is outside. The Spitfire engine and exhibit has been moved to the Tower Museum within the Walled City.***

Beech Hill Country House Hotel

Located at 32 Ardmore Road, Drumahoe, Londonderry this is a Hotel which has considerably more on offer than some Museums. More details regarding the Hotel can be seen in County Londonderry Part 3 Section.

If you are in the area - Call In!!