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Family's wartime mementos go on display

Sharon Lynas with Down County Museum Heritage manager Mike King and the artefacts
Sharon Lynas with Down County Museum Heritage manager Mike King and the artefacts

By Michael McHugh

Old instruments belonging to a talented musician who entertained American troops at Ballykinlar camp during the Second World War are to go on display at Downpatrick museum.

Sharon Lynas's grandfather Albert Kendall was a store manager and flute player. He played the piano along with celebrated US singer Al Jolson while her grandmother Josephine Killen helped organise dances for soldiers during the build-up to D-Day.

Ms Lynas said: "I am very proud that they did do that and that they can be part of this history."

Mr Kendall played cricket with the troops while Ms Killen used to cook for them.

Local people went in and out of the camp with supplies.

Ms Lynas gave artefacts to Down County Museum at Downpatrick, including a wooden cross her grandfather found in France when he was 17, during the First World War.

Ms Lynas said: "For him the cross was not a relic, he could not leave it behind just to be tramped on.

"It is not gold, it is not anything, but it did glint in the sunbeam that morning for him to notice it."

It was kept in her family and saved from a recent fire at her mother's home.

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