Chris Gregson - July 2006
My Dad grew up in Bangor, County Down, Northern Ireland
in the 1940's. I took him back to Bangor for his 70th
birthday in 1998, the first time he had visited since
1946. He has sadly died since. In our visit, he told
me of American GI's being stationed at Bangor and camping
in Bangor Abbey, prior to the Normandy landings. In
fact, I remember from our visit that there is a plaque
commemorating this at the seafront. Dad spoke very fondly
of the GI's who were apparently welcomed and embraced
by the local community. I am now writing a book which
in part relates to this era and would really like to
learn of the experience of the american GI's in Bangor,
but I can find nothing on the internet. Dad told me
that the GI's arrived unnanounced and camped in the
grounds of Bangor Abbey, a sight that he could view
from his bedroom window. He was befriended by some of
them, and felt sadness all of his life at the fate that
befell many of them in the d-day landings. Any informatrion
that anyone could provide of GI's stationed in Bangor,
County Down, Northern Ireland, around that time would
be very gratefully received.
Lisa Govan - April '05
Alex Watson asked in October 2004 regarding this article
what happened to Seskinore and the McClintock family.
I am related to a McClintock family, but as far as i'm
aware not this one. However whilst doing my research
I found this website which may be of interest - www.millenium.fortunecity.com/bankhead/435/seskinore.htm
which includes pictures and further information.
John McLean - February'05
Am trying to trace a Karl Holinger who was stationed
in Omagh in 1942. He was a family friend but we lost
contact. Does anyone know how to trace his unit?
Andrew Ker - December '04
I have been looking into some details of the 125th Field
Artillery who were stationed in Newtownstewart from
May to December 1942. They did not go to Normandy for
D-Day but went to Africa a year and a half before then
and then fought their way as part of the American 5th
Army through Sicilly and into Italy.
Stan Preston, Canada - November '04
Very interesting article since I grew up in Omagh during
the years in question. I wasn't old enough to understand
everything that was going on then but I can relate to
the names and places mentioned in your article.
Alex Watson - October 2004
Does anybody know what happened to Seskinore House and
the Mcclintock family who lived there. Are there any
photographs of the house and family?
Kevin Taylor - August 2004
My Late father Fusilier John Taylor, Royal Enniskillen
Fusiliers, served with the American GI's during the
war before serving in Palestine and Malta. I remember
him telling a story about an american GI Wallie Beach
going to collect sugar from the station. He cut a hole
in one of the bags and they threw it off the jeep. He
then announced this over the P.A. system off the jeep
and my father and him had a great laugh as the woman
fought for it.
I also remember my grandmother Elizabeth Lindsay's story
about the mystery disappearance of four cakes off bread
which had been left on the windowsill to cool. The army
were on manoeuvres and were using our former home Lisbuoy
Road, Beragh, as a cook house. One young solder had
found the wrapped bread sitting on the windowsill to
cool and ask if he could buy them as they were for breakfast
the next day. My grandmother said no. Imagine her surprise
when the army had gone away to find all four loaves
gone, But the £5 let in their place no doubt softened
the blow . It is also interesting to relate that a number
of the GI's were based in the then Colonel Hurstons
home, Beltrim castle, in the small village off Gortin
a few miles from Omagh. The Late colonel Hurston formed
his own cavalry regiment called the Beltrim Dismounted
Cavalry. The Blakeston Hurston family still live in
the Castle and perhaps that is worth a story. I was
told all these facts by a Gortin historian, the late
Thomas Mc Keowan and shown some of the uniform buttons.
Sadly since Mr Mc Keowans death these valuable artifacts
were taken to South Africa by his brother I hope that
you find this interesting .
Andrew McIvor - August 2004
I recall the day the American soldiers arrived at Beragh station. US Vehicles
conveyed these men to Seskinore where the were stationed. Soon hugh quantities
of supplies arrived in wagons at the railway station and these were collected
daily by the GI's and taken back to their base. Some of these young men
made friends with the villagers and one lady, Mrs. Rosanne Lyttle, who
long since passed away, cared for these young men with the affection of
any mother. She invited them into her home where she and her husband
food there was available at the time with the boys. I think that after
all these years such an act of kindness should be mentioned.
Davy Fitzsimons - 22 April '04
I have a group of photographs of the 8th inf div taken in Aughantiane near Fivemiletown,
and also some of them at the back of the Red Cross Centre in Omagh. If anyone would like to see
them they can contact me. Yours.