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Great War artefacts found at Co Down Army camp


History: Some of the artefacts

History: Some of the artefacts


History: Some of the artefacts

A dog tag, a section of uniform, pipes and matches believed to date back to the First World War have been discovered at an Army base in Co Down.

The finds were made after more than 30 huts, originally built by soldiers in 1914/15, were removed from Ballykinler.

Down County Museum will recreate one of the timber Armstrong huts based on an example salvaged in 2012.

Michael King, heritage manager at the museum, said the artefacts will go on display along with the hut.

"The hut was taken down in 2012 but it dates back to the very beginning of the First World War," Mr King said.

"It was built by the soldiers who were volunteering at that point. They were being trained at Ballykinler camp and they built huts and they also dug trenches for practising for trench warfare.

"We know of several soldiers who were doing that - a guy called Tommy Ervine, from Belfast, recalls building huts and digging trenches.

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"The great thing is, when the hut was removed we found a lot of artefacts in the sand that will tell the story of the hut."

The artefacts range from First World War-era to when the camp was used to intern prisoners during the Irish War of Independence, American GIs during the Second World War and subsequent soldiers who were stationed there during the Troubles.

Mr King said they are also trying to trace relatives of the soldiers who owned the items.

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