World War II

Moira played its part in both World Wars. The War Memorial lists 9 residents of Moira Parish who fell in the service of King and Country in1914-18 and 5 who died in the 1939-45 conflict.

During the last War, troops were billeted in Moira and in Waringfield. In June 1942, the Americans opened a 900-bed convalescent hospital at Waringfield.

Waringfield military hospital

Waringfield military hospital

The buildings were nissen huts in the grounds of the large Waringfield mansion. The next year it grew to 1000 beds. Many wounded soldiers from all parts of the world were treated at this hospital. Ambulances brought wounded soldiers from the nearby Maghaberry airfield.

Ambulances live up at Maghaberry airfield

Ambulances live up at Maghaberry airfield

Maghaberry airfield casualty evacuation rehersal

Maghaberry airfield casualty evacuation rehearsal

Two ambulance photographs above  © Ulster Aviation Society

When the Ulster Military Hospital was transferred to Musgrave Park Hospital, the Royal Army Medical Corps presented their flag to Moira Parish church.

Waringfield was also the `home’ of a company of French soldiers for a time. (Like An Evening Gone. by Mrs Eileen Cousins, B.A.) A great many soldiers also camped in the Demesne. In fact some of the old trees in the demesne were removed by the military.

Bofors guns

Bofors guns were manufactured in Moira

Also during the second World War, Harry Ferguson operated two small production units in the village manufacturing parts for his world famous tractor and for Bofors guns.

US Soldiears arrive in N Irelamd

US Army arrive in Northern Ireland

The headquarters of 8th USAAF Composite Command was just outside Moira at Kircassock House. A number of prominent visitors stayed at Kircassock. Winston Churchill and Eisenhower are both thought to have stayed a night at Kircassock, when they visited troops in the Province. Other visitors included Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour.

Soon after their military training and preparation in the area, thousands of young men left the peace of the area to fight at the D-Day landings. Sadly many did not survive.

see a BBC news report on the disposal of the Hospital from 1960 http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/ni1960s/11711.shtml

James Boyce reports from the ruins of this former military hospital in the grounds of Waringfield House, near Moira. The facility is about to be broken up and auctioned off and an astonishing array of damaged machinery and disused implements is shown lying around the buildings as Boyce itemises some of the lots and reflects on the ‘crumbling hand of time’.

Mr Mac saysMr Mac says, “Always be thankful for those who gave so much so that we can be free.”

Moira War Memorial

Moira War Memorial