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A new temporary exhibition entitled ‘War Declared: the local impact of World War II’ has opened at the Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle, on Thursday, 23 May 2019.

The new exhibition marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II and looks at the impact the conflict had on the Newry and Mourne area. The exhibition also considers the effect of the war on the local economy, especially in the context of a Border community, and the legacy of war in the area in the later 1940s and 1950s.

The World War II exhibition

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down Council, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “I am delighted to open this important exhibition. I particularly want to thank all those who responded to the Museum’s appeal for memories. The large number of documents, photographs and objects, many of which are on loan from local people, is an indication of how much World War II still resonates with us today. Your contributions have been invaluable for interpreting this period of history for future generations.”

Key themes in the exhibition include preparations for war in the area during the late 1930s, Civil Defence, local recruitment in the armed forces, evacuees, rationing and smuggling, regiments stationed in the area, and the arrival of American troops and airmen in 1942.

Many of these artefacts on display have been donated by members of the public and include photographs, posters, leaflets, drawings, newspaper cuttings, gas-masks, uniforms, an ammunition box, goggles and badges.

The development of this exhibition continued through interviews with local people who had first-hand experiences of living through this tumultuous period. These can be seen in the booklet, which accompanies the exhibition.

The new exhibition is now open to the public. For further information, please telephone the Newry and Mourne Museum at Bagenal’s Castle, on 028 3031 3182.

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