GI's at the Gaol
Down County Museum will be holding a unique living history event from 10am to 4.30pm on Monday 29 May to mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of soldiers from the US Army to the old Gaol.
The event is free and will enable visitors to see how the men lived as the period is brought to life by specialist re-enactors. You can visit the men’s cookhouse, a typical billet and talk to men and officers as they busy themselves in training and preparation. Special features also include a jeep of the time and a troop carrier and a room where a great range of World War II equipment will be on show. Hands-on activities are also available so the event is sure to be enjoyable for all ages.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “This re-enactment event promises to be great fun for all the family and will be a great way to spend the bank holiday. As well as the living history presentations and the hands-on activities, the Museum has many other exhibitions to enjoy and I would encourage visitors to make their way there to find out more about the Gaol and the part it played in local history”.
In May 1942 the old Gaol was taken over by the 1st Armoured Division of the US Army to house American GIs preparing to go off to fight in North Africa. A group of men were stationed in the Gaol and lived in the Governor’s Residence for a number of months. Other contingents of men were stationed in different buildings in County Down and the arrival of the GIs was a source of great excitement in towns and villages all over.