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‘In my day, all we got for Easter was a carrot on a stick!’

During the war there were food shortages as enemy submarines began to sink ships, leading to a short supply of certain foods. Rationing was introduced in 1940 to make sure everyone got their fair share of the food available. This photograph, a still from British Pathé, illustrates  how sugar which was rationed was replaced by carrots as a sweetener during the Second World War.

Please note that the Northern Ireland War Memorial Gallery will be closing for Easter on Thursday 2 April 2015 and will reopen on Wednesday 8 April at 10.00am.

Carrot on a stick

Carrot on a stick

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VE (Victory in Europe) Day

VE (Victory in Europe) Day was celebrated on 8th May 1945, officially announcing the end of World War Two in Europe.

For the people of Northern Ireland, this was an important day to remember not only their contributions to the war effort, but the losses and sacrifices made by people living in the city during the devastating Belfast blitz of 1941.

VE Day was a time for celebration. Houses were garlanded with bunting and spontaneous celebrations broke out as men, women and children rejoiced. Street parties were organised all over Northern Ireland to allow families and neighbours to celebrate Victory together with feasts of cakes, desserts and special treats. The war was over and finally family life could return to normality; the threat of German bombs had ended, black out curtains were no longer needed and gas masks were cast aside!

Were you named on VE Day? Is your birthday on VE Day? Can you remember anything special from VE Day? We want to know.

Front of VE Day Memories Form

Front of VE Day Memories Form

Back of VE Day Memories Form

Back of VE Day Memories Form

VE Day Memories Form

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Closure for St Patrick’s Day

The Northern Ireland War Memorial will be closed on Tuesday 17 March 2015 for the public holiday, St Patrick’s Day. Photographed here are American soldiers and Irish girls having a friendly chat during a Saint Patrick’s Day Dance in Ireland 17 March 1942.

St Patricks Day, 1942

St Patricks Day, 1942

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NIWM host book launch of ‘The Golden Sisters’

NIWM was delighted to launch Alrene Hughes’s latest novel in the War Memorial Gallery last night in conjunction with Blackstaff Press. The book titled ‘The Golden Sisters’, a sequel to ‘Martha’s Girls’, is a story set in wartime Belfast about a family of sisters who share a passion for singing. The author was inspired by a scrapbook full of photographs, cuttings and concert programmes about the real life Golden Sisters: ‘the girls with the golden voices’.

Visitors to the museum can now view the original scrapbook and photographs which relate to the museum’s theme for 2015 of Women and War.

Read more about the launch and the book itself in this morning’s Newsletter at: http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/swinging-sisters-who-sang-through-the-belfast-blitz-1-6631045

View Martha’s Girls press release.

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NIWM celebrated International Women’s Day

On Friday 6 March NIWM celebrated International Women’s Day in partnership with the Linen Hall Library. It was a great afternoon of talking and walking whilst remembering the role of Women and War. Thank you to all those who supported our event and joined us on our tour of wartime Belfast.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

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Celebrating International Women’s Day Friday 6th March

Join the Linen Hall Library in discovering the changing role of women in conflicts around the world on the home front and the frontline from 1815-2015. Includes a guided walking tour and an afternoon of reminiscence and refreshment at the Northern Ireland War Memorial building on Talbot Street, Belfast.

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day

Directions to NI War Memorial

Directions to NI War Memorial

International Womens Day 2015

International Womens Day 2015

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James Joseph Magennis portrait

J is for James Joseph Magennis VC

James Joseph Magennis was the only man from Northern Ireland to be awarded a Victoria Cross in the Second World War.

On 31 July 1945, his midget submarine, XE.3, attacked the Japanese cruiser Takao off the coast of Singapore in a covert operation. Midget sub in place, Magennis tried to attach his six mines but the hull was too dirty for the mines to stick. He had to painstakingly scrape it clean with his knife. Knowing there was a constant risk of discovery, Magennis spent 30 nerve-wracking minutes completing the task.

Once Magennis had returned to XE.3, the sub’s commander Lieutenant Ian Fraser struggled to free it from under the hull of the Takao. Their final task was to drop two large explosive charges under the ship. But one failed to fall away. It would have to be released by hand. Although exhausted from his first dive, Magennis insisted on going back out to free the charge. It took him seven long minutes using a heavy spanner before the midget sub could finally escape. Magennis received a VC for his bravery during the attack on the Takao.

A portrait of Leading Seaman James Magennis VC, by the distinguished Ulster artist Robert Taylor Carson, is on display in the gallery of the NI War Memorial. Taylor Carson worked as an unaccredited war artist for the USAF in Northern Ireland during World War Two and also recorded the daily activities of the American troops.

James Joseph Magennis VC

James Joseph Magennis VC

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

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The Northern Ireland War Memorial is featured in today’s Belfast Telegraph as part of a larger feature on Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter

The Northern Ireland War Memorial is featured in today’s Belfast Telegraph as part of a larger feature on Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The Northern Ireland War Memorial is a small accredited museum that tells a huge story. Situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter of Belfast, we welcome visitors from around the world with a permanent exhibition recalling the Belfast Blitz of 1941, and the presence of US forces from 1942 – 1944. The fallen are remembered in a magnificent stained glass window and granite plinth containing Books of Remembrance from both world wars. Our theme for 2015 is Women and War, spanning the First and Second World War. On 6 March we will celebrate International Women’s Day in partnership with the Linen Hall Library and PRONI. on 15 April we will commemorate the 74th anniversary of the Belfast Blitz. 2015 also marks the 70th anniversary of VE Day and we would like to hear your memories. Call in and tell us what you know about the 1945 VE Day celebrations in Northern Ireland, or join us on 9 May for a family day of related activities. National Drawing Day on 16 May will continue our theme of VE Day commemoration. Free admission, Monday – Friday, 10.00am – 4.30pm, no booking required.

Belfast Telegraph feature

Belfast Telegraph feature

Cathedral Quarter feature

Cathedral Quarter feature

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Remembering millions who died in Holocaust

As part of International Holocaust Memorial Day flowers were placed at Belfast’s War Memorial by Neville Finch (Belfast Jewish Community) Dr Sandra Baillie (honorary secretary of the Council of Christians and Jews), and Ian Wilson, Northern Ireland War Memorial chairman, to remember the many who died at the hands of Nazis in death camps during the war.

Credit: News Letter 27 January 2015

 

 

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International Holocaust Memorial Day, Tuesday 27 January 2015

The Northern Ireland War Memorial gallery will host a commemorative event for International Holocaust Memorial day on Tuesday 27 January 2015. The theme this year is to keep the memory alive.

Programme for Event

10.30 Coffee and tea available in the gallery for attendees. Members of the public are also welcome to attend the event.

10.50 Introduction by the Curator Manager, Ciaran Elizabeth Doran.

10 .55 Chairman, Mr Ian Wilson will speak for 5 minutes.

11.00 1 Minutes silence

11.02 A prayer that has been written for our event today by the Rabbi of Belfast David Singer, will be read by a representative of the Belfast Jewish Community, Mr Neville Finch. Following the reading of the prayer a small bunch of flowers, in memory of all those lost in the Holocaust, will be placed at the base of the Carolyn Mulholland Sculpture by Dr. Sandra Baillie, Honorary Secretary of the Council of Christians and Jews.

11.30 Close, guests depart.

 

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day

Milisle Farm Story

The Kindertransports

 

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