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.
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.
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.
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
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.
There were 300,000 US service men and women in Northern Ireland between 1942 and 1944. These American forces came to Northern Ireland in two phases. The first was in January 1942, eight weeks after the United States declared war on Germany and Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbour. The second phase came a year later in 1943.
The three cloth insignia illustrated here are currently on display in the gallery of the Northern Ireland War Memorial. They were worn on the shoulder sleeves of the US army uniforms when the forces were stationed in Northern Ireland. Various types of insignia were used to identity the headquarters to which a soldier was assigned.
The top image depicts the badge worn by the 34th infantry Division which was nicknamed ‘Red Bull’. This division was based at Omagh and along with one armoured division, the 34th infantry made up the V Corps.
The middle badge belonged to the US Army Air Force who were based at Langford Lodge, an airfield on the shores of Lough Neagh. It was here that Flying Fortresses, which had been flown across the Atlantic, were fitted out for operations by personnel of the Lockheed Overseas Corporation. Five other newly built airfields in Northern Ireland were used to train replacements for men lost in air attacks over occupied Europe.
The bottom badge represented the 82nd airborne division. This particular division had already seen action in Italy before coming to be based in Derry and Tyrone.
The Northern Ireland War Memorial aims to mark the enduring friendship cemented between the American service men and women and the Ulster people during the Second World War.
Come along to the gallery to see all our related materials on display or to share any memories or stories you might have about the presence of US Forces in Northern Ireland!
In the wind down to Christmas the Northern Ireland War Memorial will be open every day this week until 1.00 pm. The gallery will be closed from Monday 22 December onwards over the holiday period, re-opening to the public in the New Year on Friday 2 January between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm. Normal operating hours of 10.00 am to 4.00 pm will fully resume as usual on Monday 5 January 2015. We hope you have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
The NI War Memorial gallery will be closed this afternoon from 1.00pm but will reopen on Friday 12 December at 10.00 am as normal. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
History of Ulster in the First World War. This book was published to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The book is written for the general reader who would like to know more about the experience of the people of Ulster, both at home and overseas, throughout a conflict which was on such an unprecedented scale that it became known at the time simply as the Great War.
Ulster and the First World War by historian Jonathan Bardon and published by the Northern Ireland War Memorial, will be launched this evening at NIWM.
This book is about the experience of the people of all of Ulster, both at home and overseas, throughout a conflict which was on such an unprecedented scale that it became known at the time simply as the Great War.
The book is for sale and is available to buy in the Northern Ireland War Memorial gallery priced £10, or alternatively copies can be purchased online from Wednesday 3 December at www.amazon.co.uk.