Blog Archives

My late father, Chief Warrant Officer Gregorio A. Diaz, was the bandmaster of the 6th Cavalry Band - By Gregory T. ("Tom") Diaz

In your excellent web page about the Visiting American Troops the following reference is made to the Third Army Band (as it was widely, if unofficially, known): “General George S. Patton carried out an informal inspection tour of the U.S. troops

Posted in Personal Stories

My dad’s time with the Royal Irish Fusiliers - By Noel Boone QPM

Having run away from home in Cahore, Draperstown, Co Londonderry, Dad (George Boone) enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers at St Lucia Barracks in Omagh on 25/08/1936. This was three years before the start of WW2, during which he served

Posted in Personal Stories

Gilford In Wartime: A Child’s View - By Geoffrey Wisher

I was born in February 1939 in Hull in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In March the Germans occupied the whole of Czechoslovakia and so began the countdown to the war which was declared on the 3rd September after the

Posted in Personal Stories

My husband Cyril Harley was based in Gilford, as a driver with the R.E.’s - By Olive Harley (nee Whitten)

During the war I met and married Cyril Harley from Sheffield. He was a young driver with 297 Company Royal Engineers. They were over here for approximately three years training. Their first billet was to N. Ireland. Cyril had not

Posted in Personal Stories

My father Joseph Conerney served in Belsen Bergen with the RAMC - By Joan Conerney

My father Joseph Conerney was born in Co. Galway. As a young man he went to Witham (Essex) to train as a nurse. At the beginning of the war he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served in, Holland,

Posted in Personal Stories

My time in the ATS and RAMC - By Elsie Kerr (Nee Gracey)

When war broke out I lived in Ann Street, Gilford. At that stage I was too young to join the regular Army and consequently was still at home when VE day was celebrated, although in Chatham for VJ day. My

Posted in Personal Stories

The war record of Francis Patrick Reilly, RCAF, who lost his life 28th January 1944 aged 21, in an air raid over Berlin - By Jim Reilly

FRANCIS PATRICK REILLY, R.C.A.F 1941-1944 Frank Reilly was the eldest son of Edward and Margaret Reilly, nee Prior. He was born in 1922 at Castle Hill, Gilford and attended the local primary school there. The whole family later moved to

Posted in Personal Stories

The story of John Reilly, RUR, a Dunkirk veteran, later his unit held top German Officers for interrogation - By Jim Reilly

JOHN PATRICK REILLY, R.U.R 1926 – 1946 John Reilly was born in Gilford in 1909 at Hill Street, (better known as Keady Row). He was the eldest of seven children of James and Ellen Reilly. He and the rest of

Posted in Personal Stories

My dad Baillie Eccles, RAF, captured by the Japanese, escaped on a Chinese boat - By Adela Metcalfe (nee Eccles)

My father Baillie Eccles was born in Ballyhalbert, Co Down in 1920. He grew up in Moyallon, Gilford and went to Moyallon Primary School and Portadown College. After the war he met my mum Beulah Culbert from Gilford. They married

Posted in Personal Stories

My dad Paddy Byrne served with the RIF - By Paul Byrne

My father Paddy Byrne was born in Gilford Co Down in1919 and joined the Royal Irish Rifles as a driver on 2nd September 1937 at Armagh. The following January he was sent to Malta where he remained for the following

Posted in Personal Stories

Playing football with the Scuttlers and Bert Trautman - By Eddie Geoghegan

As a young boy from The Rock at Tullylish, I worked for the firm of William Logan and Sons from Belfast, and helped build many of the pillboxes and Nissan huts in the area. We worked a six day week

Posted in Personal Stories

Memories of the picture house and the swimming pool in war time - By Tommy Harrison

My sister May married Joe Milne from Scotland, who first came to Gilford with the advance party of 582 Company Royal Engineers in 1941. Joe had already fought with the British Expeditionary Forces on the Belgian side of France and

Posted in Personal Stories

My husband Raymond was a trumpet player with the RE band - By Maria Griffiths (nee Adamson)

My husband Raymond Griffiths, came to Gilford with 297 Company of the Royal Engineers. At the time my family lived in Donegal Cottage, in Castle Street, (McDowells house), just opposite the army camp. Raymond had been in the Territorial Army

Posted in Personal Stories

Watching the Americans arrive in Gilford - By Ronnie Beattie

I wasn’t very old when war broke out, but I can clearly remember the soldiers in Gilford. I remember watching the American soldiers arriving in Gilford. Crowds of people gathered at the Portadown Road corner to see them. They drove

Posted in Personal Stories

After the war my brother Victor Moore (Irish Guards), became the President of Gilford British Legion - By Jean McCarthy (nee Moore)

My brother Victor Moore was born on 13th October 1927. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on 31st July 1945 at Belfast, as a boy entrant aged just 17. At the time he was an apprentice motor mechanic

Posted in Personal Stories

After the war my father Eduard Gaillard, RE’s, became the principal dancer in the famous film “The Red Shoes” - By Armand Gaillard

During World War II, my father Eduard Gaillard, although Belgian, was conscripted into the British Army to serve with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). During the early 40’s the REME were stationed in Gilford. Some of the men,

Posted in Personal Stories

My husband Jock Wallace came to Gilford with the RASC - By Eileen Wallace (nee Livingstone)

My husband Jock Wallace was born in Edinburgh, and came to Gilford with the Royal Army Service Corps in 1941. He had already seen lots of action at a number of different locations in England before moving to Gilford. The

Posted in Personal Stories

Remembering my time in the WRNS - By Adeline Adamson

When war broke out I was living outside Richhill, near Armagh. Initially I decided to become a nurse, despite opposition from my parents, because in those days uniforms, books etc had to be paid for and pay was only £35

Posted in Personal Stories

Memories of dancing with the yanks at Elmfield - By Lily Finnegan

Our house seemed to be full of gas-masks. There was a big family of us and we all had been issued with one, but we didn’t always carry them with us. I don’t know how we acquired the gas-masks. I

Posted in Personal Stories

My dad, Norman Greenfield, RIF taken prisoner at Leros - By Tom Greenfield

My father Norman ran away from home pre WWII and joined the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers at Omagh in 1936. On the same day he met George Boone from Draperstown, also joining R.I.F. at Omagh. Dad’s home was at

Posted in Personal Stories

My dad, Stan Jeynes, rescued on a little boat called “The Mooltan” - By Linda Lyle (nee Jeynes), Reading

My father Stanley Jeynes, was involved with three different regiments throughout the course of the war. He was born in 1919 and joined up in December 1939. He was only twenty years old at the time. He was initially put

Posted in Personal Stories

Remembering the Americans in Gilford - By Teresa Fitzpatrick (nee Reilly)

A number of members of my family had been involved in the wars. During the 2nd world war my brother John Reilly was in the Royal Ulster Rifles.

Posted in Personal Stories

Thomas Topping and William David Topping were brothers signed up to serve their country during WWII - By Graham Topping

My father Tommy and Uncle Billy were Gilford boys through and through. Their father was a groom employed by the Uprichard family of Elmfield Castle. Tommy followed his father into the trade in his early working life.

Posted in Personal Stories