Events

'None That Go Return Again- The Armistice & the Aftermath'

It is not widely known that the First World War didn't end in 1918. It was only when statesmen & politicians sat down in 1919 to agree a treaty that the war officially came to a close. Life changed forever throughout the world and the war impacted hugely on Ireland.

To reflect the closing stages of the war and its aftermath in Ireland this new exhibition examines through photographs, maps, memorabilia, medals, personal letters, uniforms and personal stories the effects of war. It also includes a collection of letters and artefacts from the Museum's archives of a local soldier from Comber, Lt Samuel Geddis.

'D Day Voices' - Temporary exhibition

This new exhibition opened in June 2019 to mark the 75th anniversary on the 6th June 1944 of the 'D Day' Landings and The Battle of Normandy. This temporary exhibition examines what it was like for the men and women who had a part to play in the Second World War, by featuring interviews from the Somme Museum's extensive oral archive program; which over a number of years has interviewed veterans and recorded their words for future generations. The words used are the veterans own and we have complied an exhibition that includes their testimonies along with historical facts, film footage and artefacts.

'Women in the First World War'- Temporary exhibition

The Role of Women in the First World War Period

Prior to the outbreak of the First World War education had reinforced the role of a woman as a wife and mother but women were increasingly beginning to make a significant impact on society as their legal and social status started to gradually improve. To mark this female milestone the Somme Museum has produced this exhibition that looks at international and local women and the roles they played in changing social, industrial and political events of the time and how their achievements became a catalyst for others.

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There is also an outreach presentation available on Women and the First World War by Carol Walker MBE, Director of the Somme Association. Book by email sommeassociation@btconnect.com

Somme Museum 2020 Lecture Series

19th March 2020 - The Coast Watcher’s: Military intelligence gathering on neutral Ireland’s Atlantic frontline – 1939-45
Dr Michael Kennedy, Royal Irish Academy, will give a presentation about the Marine and Coast Watching Service, a special branch of the Irish Defence Forces that kept an invasion watch along neutral Ireland coastline during WW2. Reports from the Coastwatcher’s provided valuable intelligence information to the Irish Defence Forces, information which was in turn traded with the Allies as neutral Ireland recast the parameters of its neutrality to meet the needs of the war. This talk will look at the Coast Watching Service LOP network and the soldiers who manned LOPs, the war they saw from Ireland’s coastline and the contemporary and historical importance of this specialist branch of the Defence Forces which was born out the urgent wartime need to defend Ireland’s coastline.

23rd April 2020 - Forgotten Gaelic Volunteers: GAA Members and the War
Dr Donal McAnallen’s talk will explore the hidden history of members of the GAA who enlisted to fight in the war. It will focus on some of the personal stories of the 150-plus wartime soldiers who have been identified as sometime Gaelic footballers or hurlers, and attempt to explain the factors that led them to volunteer for the front, as well as how the association responded to their enlistment in the light of its standing ban on members of the Crown Forces. Finally, it will examine how those returned fared after the war and how they all came to be forgotten.

21st May 2020 - Ireland and World War Two - Resistance and Escape Lines
John Morgan, Trustee of The Escape Lines Memorial Society (UK) and Secretary of the Basque Pyrenees Freedom Trails Association (Basque Country, Spain) will speak about Allied Resistance and Escape Lines in Nazi-occupied Europe, with reference to men and women from Ireland who fought for the freedom of Europe.

Entry fee: £5.00 (including refreshments) All Talks start at 7pm. Doors open 6.30pm
Booking is essential via: sommeassociation@btconnect.com or: 028 9182 3202