We’re open Monday to Friday from 10am-4:30pm and EVERY Saturday from 12pm-4pm. Free admission, no booking required.

Summary

Our museum collection contains thousands of objects from artworks to uniforms and photographs to radios.

The main themes are the Belfast Blitz, the Allied presence and the Home Front during the Second World War.

We care for, conserve and display these items so that we can continue to tell the story of Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

Do you have an object you'd like to donate? Read our Collections Development Policy here and please get in touch.

We also have a Reference Library relating to both the First and Second World War that is freely available to view by appointment.

COLLECTIONS

Take a look at our Publications

The Northern Ireland War Memorial publish books about both the First and Second World War.

All of our publications are available to buy directly from the museum, through Colourpoint, on Amazon or by mail order by downloading the publication order form.

Find out more

Collections

Reference Library

Powered by TinyCat, the NIWM Reference Library is available to browse and search online.

The Library is freely available to all, but strictly by appointment only so please get in touch to book.

View the Reference Library Catalogue here

BLOG

Learn more about our latest posts

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Biography: Brigadier General Leroy P Collins
Guest author Clive Moore looks at the role and impact of Brigadier General Leroy P Collins (pictured in his Officers Blue Dress uniform in 1941) during the fourteen months he spent in Northern Ireland over two separate postings: a longer period than any other commanding officer, or possibly any other person in the United States military that served in Northern Ireland. Find out more
Wartime Bomb Disposal
Author Chris Ranstead writes on the dangers posed by unexploded bombs known as UXBs and the men of 27 Bomb Disposal Company that made them safe long after the Belfast Blitz in 1941. Find out more
Polish Squadrons in Northern Ireland Part 1: No. 315 (City of Deblin) Polish Fighter Squadron
Its common knowledge that No. 315 and No. 303 (Polish) Squadrons were based at RAF Ballyhalbert, County Down during the Second World War but what was their role here? Find out more
Polish Squadrons in Northern Ireland Part 2: No. 303 (Kosciuszko) Polish Fighter Squadron
Its common knowledge that No. 315 and No. 303 (Polish) Squadrons were based at RAF Ballyhalbert, County Down during the Second World War but what was their role here? Find out more
The Epic of the Empire Patrol
On 29 September 1945, the SS Empire Patrol caught fire shortly after leaving Port Said. On board were hundreds of Greek refugees who were returning home to Castellorizo. Within the NIWM collection is an eyewtness account from Ordinary Seaman Stanley Scott of their rescue by the escort carrier, HMS Trouncer. Find out more
The US 'Technicians who won't talk'
American forces officially arrived in Northern Ireland on 26 January 1942 with PFC Milburn Henke being selected to be the 'first' to walk down the gangplank. However, hundreds of American technicians had already spent much of 1941 in Northern Ireland, well before the US entry into the war, building US Naval Operating Base Londonderry and a seaplane base at Lough Erne. Discover more about their time in Northern Ireland here: Find out more
Queer Life during the Second World War
To mark LGBT+ History Month, NIWM Outreach Officer, Michael Fryer, explores queer life during the Second World War. Please note that this article contains sexual references and may be inappropriate for younger readers. Find out more
‘As welcome as the Germans in Norway’: Irish Nationalism and the American presence in Northern Ireland
Dr Simon Topping, author of 'Northern Ireland, the United States and the Second World War' provides an overview of how the leaders of Irish Nationalism regarded the arrival of thousands of American soldiers in Northern Ireland in 1942. Find out more
Clothing Rationing
The Board of Trade introduced the immediate rationing of clothing and footwear on 1st June 1941. Read on to find out more. Find out more
Sweet Rationing
#DidYouKnow? That on 26th July in 1942 sweets were rationed! The initial allowance was 8 oz per person for a 4 week period… that’s only 2 oz per week! Read on to find out more. Find out more
The Last Man’s Club of Battery B
As well as being the first US division to land in Europe during the Second World War, the 34th 'Red Bull' Infantry Division also fired the first American artillery at German forces. This shell was fired by B Battery, 175th Field Artillery Battalion at Medjez-El-Bab, Tunisia, on 19 November, 1942. Although B Battery of the 175th was first to fire in combat, the very first American artillery fire in the European Theatre was delivered by B Battery of the 151st Field Artillery Battalion whilst based in Northern Ireland during 1942. This is the story of how a group of men became bonded for the rest of their lives by a spent shell casing and a bottle of good Irish whiskey. Find out more
Coastal Crusts and Stop Lines
In Coastal Crusts and Stop Lines, Dr James O'Neill highlights the anti-invasion defences of Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Pictured is a coastal pillbox emerging from the sands at Magilligan Strand (Co. Londonderry). The dune system swallowed it up again soon after this photo was taken. Find out more
Royal Air Force Marine Craft
Much has been written about Northern Ireland’s role in helping to bring about the Allied victory in the Second World War. One aspect however has been overlooked and does not get the attention it deserves - the Royal Air Force Marine Service. In this article, Guy Warner shines a light on its role as a vital enabler not only with regard to the Battle of the Atlantic but also Air Sea Rescue. Find out more
Aviation Archaeology in Ulster - A Personal Overview
Tens of thousands of aircrew flew training and operational sorties from air bases in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Sadly, many aircraft and their crews were lost to accidents and mechanical failures. Typically the airframes were recovered, but where that was not possible the wreckage remained buried. Aviation expert Jonny McNee introduces us to his efforts to recover four of these lost aircraft. Find out more
Still Over Here Part 1: The archaeology of the United States military in Northern Ireland, 1941-45
'Over There' was a patriotic song about GIs coming to Europe to aid the allied cause. 'Still Over Here' looks at the physical remains of the structures left behind by the hundreds of thousands of US personnel who passed through Northern Ireland during the Second World War. In Part 1 we look at the traces of the US Navy, Army and the structures that remain hidden in the landscape. Find out more
Still Over Here Part 2: The archaeology of the United States military in Northern Ireland, 1941-45 - The United States Army Airforce
In Part 2 of 'Still Over Here', Dr James O'Neill examines the remains of the largest remaining sites relating to the US presence in Northern Ireland during the Second World War: the USAAF airfields. As the conflict escalated and losses mounted, six airfields were handed over to the USAAF, training crews and modifying aircraft for the battles in the air over Europe. With each airfield covering hundreds of acres, they are often hidden in plain sight, but many features remain to tell their story. Find out more
The War for Industrial Production
In 'The War for Industrial Production', Dr Christopher Loughlin takes a look at industrial relations in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Often overlooked in official accounts of the conflict, Dr Loughlin explores how organised labour surged during the war years, and how relations between employers were often fractious, leading to industrial disputes and strikes. Find out more
Diamonds in the Emerald Isle; The 5th Infantry Division in Northern Ireland
Often overlooked for more famous military formations like the 82nd Airborne and 1st Armored Division, the 5th Infantry Division was one of four American infantry divisions stationed in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Reactivated in October 1939, the division spent nine months intensively training in the north before setting sail for battlefields in Europe. Find out more
Love In War
To mark #ValentinesDay 2024, we're sharing a story from our new blog series #LoveInWar; a collection of blog posts highlighting love stories from our Oral History Collection. Find out more
Field Hospital Training for U.S Medical Battalions in Northern Ireland
Approximately 300,000 US service personnel passed through Northern Ireland during the Second World War. Our guest blogger, Dave Hickman from Johnston, Iowa, tells us the story of his father’s time in Northern Ireland as part of the 109th Medical Battalion (34th Infantry Division) that landed in Belfast in March 1942. Find out more

COLLECTIONS

Blitz Victims

In April and May 1941, Belfast was bombed four times by the Luftwaffe. Derry/Londonderry, Bangor and Newtownards were also bombed.

Find out more about those who lost their lives as a result of enemy action in April and May 1941.

Find out more

Oral History Collection

The museum is actively collecting stories about the Second World War in Northern Ireland.

Over one hundred interviews have been recorded and are freely available to researchers, students and members of the public interested in hearing first-hand accounts of Northern Ireland during the Second World War.

If you, a friend or family member have wartime memories please get in touch with us. We would love to add your story to our growing collection.

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