We’re open Monday to Friday from 10am-4:30pm and EVERY Saturday from 12pm-4pm. Free admission, no booking required. Please note: The NIWM will be closed from 12:00pm - 2:30pm on Thursday 13 June 2024 for our AGM.


In 1943 an appeal for a War Memorial Building to highlight Northern Ireland's role in the Second World War was launched. The Northern Irish government agreed to match money raised from the public up to £100,000. Fundraising was organised from three converted tramcars on Blitzed Square, an area of High Street which had been destroyed during the air raids of 1941. Another area of blitzed ground on Waring Street was gifted as a site by Belfast Corporation.

The Council of the Northern Ireland War Memorial (NIWM) was set up as a charitable company in 1950 to co-ordinate the fundraising campaign and later to manage the building. Read our Charitable Objectives here.

It was not until the late 1950s that enough money was raised. The proposed building became the subject of a design competition which was won by architect J Michael Bowley in 1957. Memorial House was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother in October 1963.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial was established to provide an enduring memorial for the men and women of Northern Ireland who died in the two World Wars, and to commemorate the American presence in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. In 2008 the War Memorial moved to Talbot Street and in 2013 became an Accredited Museum.

Now an Accredited Museum, our mission is to tell the story of Northern Ireland’s role in the Second World War comprehensively and authentically through engaging exhibitions, publications, research, outreach and accessible learning programmes. In addition, we maintain war memorials to the fallen in the First and Second World War and the Belfast Blitz. We organise respectful commemorations, provide office and meeting accommodation to ex-service charities, and award small grants to projects which are in line with our charitable objectives.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial's vision is to be an engaging and welcoming museum that provides a window on Northern Ireland’s key role in the Second World War and the impact of the war on its people.

Our values

AuthenticityOur collection is at the heart of everything we do to inspire research and create unique learning experiences, resources and publications.

Striving for excellenceWe are responsible for the professional care and interpretation of the collection. We will share our knowledge by presenting the collection and our research to their full potential.

Working together – By promoting teamwork and exploring collaborative ideas we reflect the whole of Northern Ireland, ensuring our activities are wide-reaching and relevant to our varied audiences, both current and new.

Showing respectWe host fitting commemorations which are inclusive of all. We support diversity and a work culture which values and empowers our team and recognises their achievements. We remember our roots and help towards building a more dynamic future for the organisation.

Innovative – We are ambitious and imaginative about finding better ways to do things, embracing technology and partnerships, to share our stories.

In consultation with stakeholders, beneficiaries and audiences, we've developed an ambitious Strategic Plan for 2023-27 which you can read here.

The Board of Trustees

The Board meets regularly to comply with statutory requirements and to fulfil governance responsibilities. A Finance Committee and Museum Committee deal with the ongoing affairs of the charity.

The Board adopts an annual Operational Plan, which is delivered by the management team. NIWM complies with its obligations under company law and charity law. An annual financial statement as at 31 January is filed with the Registrar of Companies. The charity is self-funding and is not dependent on external sources of finance.

The NIWM is currently consulting with beneficaries on a new Strategic Plan for 2023-27. If you'd like to see a draft, please get in touch.


D Bigger (Chairman)

B E Barton

A J Crowther

C Champion

R Doherty

C T Hogg

J Guthrie

B Hannam

M Logan


J M Steele


Small Grants Application

Do you have a project in line with our statement of purpose?

The Northern Ireland War Memorial may be able to assist.

Apply now


Accommodation for Ex-Service Charities

In line with our mission, the building houses the offices of the SSAFA, RAFA, Combat Stress and Help For Heroes.

The Board Room and Conference Room on the second floor are available foruse by all ex-service bodies as a charitable output.

Find out more

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