Categories: D-DayNewryHistoryWorld War Two

To mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, two service uniforms worn by local men during World War Two, have now gone on display in Newry and Mourne Museum.

The uniforms are part of an exhibit, which was officially launched by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Pete Byrne on Tuesday 11 June. The exhibit explores the considerable contribution local people from Newry and Mourne made to the war effort, in particular James Quinn and Major Gerald Reside, who wore the uniforms on display.

James Quinn, originally from Tullyframe near Kilkeel, emigrated to America in 1927. He became an American Citizen in 1936 and owned a grocery business in New York. From 1943 – 1945 he served with the American Army in the 563rd Motor Ambulance Company and was involved in their advance across Europe into Germany. In 1950 Quinn returned to Kilkeel where he opened a shop and bought a farm in Corcreaghan townland. He died in 1975.

Newry architect, Gerald Reside, initially served with the British Expeditionary Force in France with 4th (Ulster) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery before being rescued from Dunkirk in June 1940. After returning to France with the Royal Artillery at the time of the D-Day Landings in June 1944, he saw active service in France and Belgium when he was promoted to the rank of Major. After the war, he resumed his career as an architect and engineer in Newry.

Speaking about the significance of the conserved uniforms, Chairperson Councillor Pete Byrne said, “The uniforms are a fitting way to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings as they provide a direct visual representation of the active participation of two men from our district, reminding us of the significant role that people from this area have played in such historical events, at home and abroad.”

Newry and Mourne Museum Collections Officer Joanne Cummins added, “We are delighted that these uniforms are on display, they are a very important part of our Costume Collection and highlight the diverse range of objects on display in the Museum”.

The uniforms will be on display at Newry and Mourne Museum until November 2024.