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.