Belfast Telegraph

History Hut project hoping to dig up more Ballykinlar facts

Refugees at Ballykinlar
Refugees at Ballykinlar
A dog tag belonging to R Daidson from the First World War
‘Julian’, a German POW in 1947
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The Ballykinlar History Hut project is hoping for help in solving some of the mysteries its efforts at the wartime base have uncovered.

Around 100 people have been participating in the project and are attempting to piece together the history of the people who stayed there in wartime.

When one of the huts at Ballykinlar was dismantled in 2012 many artefacts were found beneath it, including a First World War dog tag belonging to R Daidson - and they'd love to know who he was.

They're also seeking information on mothers and children, described as Maltese refugees, who were photographed in the camp in the Second World War.

Members have successfully traced the family of Chicago-born William Wolfe of the US 5th Infantry, who was stationed at Ballykinlar before D-Day, after one of his dog tags was found at the camp in 1996. Now they want to trace Julian, a German prisoner-of-war, who was still at the camp in 1947.

The recreated Ballykinlar History Hut will open in the courtyard of Down County Museum next spring.

QUB and museum staff are working on research and digitisation for the project and anyone with information about any of the artefacts uncovered is asked to contact Down County Museum on 028 4461 5218.

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