Object of the month

Object of the month – October 2018


On the 29th October 1963, 55 years ago the War Memorial Building on Waring Street was officially opened by the Queen Mother and so it is only fitting that October’s Object of the Month marks the occasion.


The idea for the building originated in two separate funding appeals ran by the British Legion in Northern Ireland and the Parliament of Northern Ireland at Stormont. In 1947 the Legion appeal merged into the Northern Ireland War Memorial Building Fund and the NI Government pledged to match every £1 raised up to £100,000.







The offices of the NI War Memorial Building Fund were based in three converted tramcarsin an area destroyed by the Belfast Blitz in 1941 called Blitzed Square on High Street, Belfast.




Various appeals such as the ‘Odd Shillings and Pence Appeal’ at Christmas 1948 (pictured) and a ‘Torch of Remembrance Appeal’ were launched to raise the funds required for the building.





However it was not until 1963 that enough money was raised and the building completed. Pictured is a copy of the order of events for the opening ceremony on 29th October 1963.




In 2008 the NI War Memorial including the memorials, objects and artworks such as this stained glass window by Stanley Murray Scott relocated to it’s current location on Talbot Street, Belfast. As an accredited museum, the NI War Memorial has a thriving learning programme, an ever-growing collection and continues to provide accommodation for ex-service charities and act as a memorial to those from Northern Ireland who were killed in both the First and Second World Wars.



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Object of the month

Object of the month – September 2018

In conjunction with Down County Museum and Ballykinlar History Hut, our Object of the Month for September 2018 is this dog tag (NIWM:2017.2148).

Belonging to a William J. Wolfe, it was found under the floor boards of one of the 1900s period timber ‘Armstrong’ huts at Ballykinlar Army Barracks as it was being dismantled in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, we have only a little more information regarding William. He was from Cook County, Chicago, Illinois and on the 16th April 1941, aged 22, he was drafted into the Panama Canal Department of the US Army.

We don’t know what unit he served with, how he or his dogtag came to be at Ballykinlar or even if he survived the war.  Perhaps some of you may be able to help us?

A reconstruction of one of the timber ‘Armstrong’ huts will be recreated in the central courtyard of Down County Museum and made open to the public in September 2019.  It will tell the stories of the huts numerous and varied occupants throughout its many periods of use.

More info regarding the Hut Project can be found at Down County Museum and Ballykinlar History Hut.

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There’ll be Bluebirds over…

There’ll be Bluebirds over…

Singing and Reminiscence Workshop


Thursday 11th October 2018

1.30 – 2.30 pm


Visit the museum to look back at life in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Have a slice of wartime cake and a cup of tea. Sing-along to songs from the 1940s with live piano by Karen Diamond.

Fully Wheelchair accessible.

This is a FREE event with limited spaces therefore booking is essential.


To book a space contact: or telephone 02890320392 Option 3.


Working to become Dementia Friendly.

In association with Age-friendly Belfast.


Northern Ireland War Memorial

21 Talbot Street





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Culture Night 2018

‘Dig for Victory’ and ‘We’ll Meet Again’ 

NIWM Culture Night 2018


Visit the Northern Ireland War Memorial on Friday 21st September 2018 to take part in our Culture Night activities.

‘Dig for Victory’

Friday 21st September 2018 @ 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm

A chance for little evacuees to learn about Dig for Victory and the Second World War. Roll up your sleeves for hands-on activities.

  • Make a carrot lollipop
  • Make a Ration book and Identity card




‘We’ll Meet Again’

Friday 21st September 2018 @ 7.00 pm – 10.00 pm

Close harmony vocal trio Swingabella and their live band will perform love songs from the 1940s while the Bellehoppers demonstrate dance routines from that bygone era.

  • Song and Dance performances every hour
  • Wartime entertainment

Come along and dance!





Follow us on: Facebook @NIWarMemorialMuseum

Twitter @NIWarMemorial

Instagram @niwarmemorial


Northern Ireland War Memorial

21 Talbot Street


BT 1 2LD


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Object of the Month

Belfast City Tramway Route Map and Guide (NIWM:2018.2184)

With the introduction of the new Translink Gliders next month in mind, our object of the month for August is this ‘Belfast City Tramway Route Map and Guide’.

Produced in September 1920, the map shows just how extensive the tram network once was in Belfast with termini as far out as Glengormley, Andersonstown and Dundonald. What makes this item truly unique however is that it has been annotated to show damage done to the network during the Belfast Blitz in April/May 1941.






A ⨂ shows the damage caused by the Luftwaffe during the Easter Tuesday Raid on the night of 15/16th April.

While a * shows damage sustained during the Fire Raid on the night of 4/5th May. This raid became known as the Fire Raid due to the approx. 96,000 incendiary bombs that were dropped during the raid.

A larger version of the map is now on display in our temporary exhibition on the Belfast Blitz.


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Speed That Spitfire – European Heritage Open Day 2018

Speed That Spitfire – European Heritage Open Day at the Northern Ireland War Memorial


Saturday 8th September 2018

10:30am to 4pm












Come along to the Northern Ireland War Memorial’s Speed That Spitfire event to learn about the RAF during the Second World War.

Click here to view the Speed That Spitfire flyer

  • Climb inside the cockpit of a full-size replica Spitfire from the Ulster Aviation Society which will be parked outside the museum
  • Explore the aircraft and imagine what it would have been like to fly a Spitfire during the Second World War
  • Dress up in real RAF and WAAF uniforms and have your photograph taken with green-screen technology that will transfer your image onto a Second World War background, creating a high quality souvenir photograph to take home.
  • Take part in craft activities suitable for all ages
  • Listen to wartime music and view our exhibition about the Home Front during the Second World War

Kindly supported by the Ulster Aviation Society and Living Legacies.

Read about this and other RAF 100 events at:

Follow us on Facebook @NIWarMemorialMuseum

Northern Ireland War Memorial

21 Talbot Street




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The War and Me – Oral History project

‘The War and Me’ Oral History project

The NIWM recently launched a new Oral History project The War and Me appealing to the public to share their memories of the war years.

Click here to view The War and Me Oral History project flyer

As a museum we would like to record how the people of Northern Ireland were affected by the Second World War.

Stories and memories are incredibly important to us and will be stored permanently in the museum collection and made available to researchers, school groups and the media.

This project which will run for 18 months, will see many more stories recorded for the museum’s archive.








We want to hear stories about the Belfast Blitz, the US Forces stationed in NI, the evacuation of children to the countryside, farming and industry, the work of Air Raid Wardens, the Home Guard and those who enlisted in the Army, RAF and the Navy.

Some of the questions we are asking are:

  • Can you remember the Belfast Blitz?
  • Perhaps you lived near an American Base?
  • Did you or a relative work in a munitions factory?
  • Do you remember receiving a gas mask?
  • Was your family evacuated to the countryside?
  • Did you serve in the ARP or Ulster Home Guard?
  • Did you enlist in the ATS, the WAAF, or the WRNS?

Dr Susan Kelly, our Oral History Researcher can conduct and record an audio interview in your home or at the museum.

If you or someone you know would be happy to share their story please email us at

If you’d like to speak to us about the project or arrange an interview please call us on 028 9032 0392

Alternatively, if you would like to write your story down you can post it to us at:

Northern Ireland War Memorial

The War and Me Oral History Project

21 Talbot Street



As an accredited museum, we welcome donations of photographs and objects relating to the Second World War in Northern Ireland. Please get in touch if you have something you’d like to gift to the museum.

We would love to hear your story.

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International Women’s Day 2018

Today on International Women’s Day 2018 we are thinking about the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS)

The Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS) performed countless welfare activities, from helping families who were the victims of the blitz, to the distribution of clothing and Red Cross parcels and vitamins to children.

The WVS in Northern Ireland held its first meeting on 30th January 1941. Belfast suffered two major air raids in April and May 1941, just a few months after the WVS had formed.

In the aftermath of the Belfast blitz, the WVS clothed 7,000 people.  After the Easter Tuesday attack, 40,000 people were accommodated in Belfast’s rest centres and 70,000 meals were served to them the following day.

Four mobile canteens attached to the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) were manned by WVS in the weeks following the Belfast blitz.

By the end of May 1941 the WVS in Northern Ireland had 10,446 members.

WVS members also worked in ARP (Air Raid Precautions) and transport services, in rest centres, evacuation and information bureaux.

In January 1942, the one Belfast district of the WVS completed 96 camouflage nets for the army.

When the first American transport arrived in Northern Ireland in January 1942, a WVS Mobile Canteen was waiting, ready to serve hot drinks to the men. Shortly after then men had disembarked, a WVS salvage van appeared to collect any wastepaper which might have accumulated on the transports.

Call into the Museum to see our very own WVS woman.



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Drawing Day 2018

Drawing Day 2018

Saturday 19th May 2018 – @ 12- 4pm


Visit the War Memorial Museum on Drawing Day to take part in a day of creativity inspired by our Second World War collection. Discover more about the Belfast Blitz, the Home Front in Northern Ireland, American GIs, and the contemporary art in the Museum. Pick up a pencil and draw – and then share your art on our Facebook page.

Chalk and colouring pencils will be provided, with drawing activities to suit all ages. You can drop-in any time between 12 noon and 4pm.

People of all ages can join in listening to 1940s music and playing with 1940s toys and board games.

No experience or booking required

Free admission

For more information visit:



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Successful Selection Workshop

Successful Selection Workshop

Friday 20th April 2018

NI War Memorial- 21 Talbot Street, Belfast, BT1 2LD

This interactive workshop will provide a masterclass in CV development; whether you are a student at pre-entry, early career; someone transferring into the sector, ex-freelancers; or someone with a portfolio career.

We will share hints and tips for effective interviews, as well as exploring other selection techniques and how to nail them.

As part of the workshop we will focus on ‘gaps’ and we will discuss what you may need to develop and how to do so to be able to meet the requirements for both short-listing and successful appointment.

This workshop will have relevance for anyone working, volunteering or thinking about joining the sector. Existing Museums Association Members welcome as is anyone with an interest in the museums and galleries sector. Why not book on and begin your next career chapter.

Two separate workshops are being held on Friday 20th April 2018.

The Morning Session will run from 10:00am to 1:00pm.

Click this link to register for the morning workshop: 

The Afternoon session will run from 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

Click this link to register for the afternoon session:

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