The Irish Military War Museum team was privileged to attend a reburial service for Sergeant David Harkness Blakey MM at the beginning of October, in Thiepval, France.
Sergeant Blakey was reported missing during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was killed on the first day of the battle, 1st July. He was just 26 years-old.
Amazingly, Sergeant Blakey’s remains were found during routine roadworks being carried out ahead of the Battle of the Somme centenary commemorations. They were found close to the Ulster Tower, and he was identified by his metal identification tag.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission held the service on October 8th at 11am, for Sergeant Blakey and two unknown comrades; one from the Royal Irish Rifles, one from the Cambridgeshire Regiment.
Reverend Robert J Birnie CF, Chaplain to 1st Battalion the Royal Irish Regiment, conducted the service. In attendance were representatives of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Regiment, UK Defence Staff and local dignitaries.
Some of Sergeant Blakey’s family members were also present, including his great-great-grandchildren
It was a very moving, thought-provoking ceremony, which was very touching to be a part of.
On September 5th and 6th, the Irish Military War Museum will be hosting an exhibition on 1916 by the Irish Volunteers Commemorative Organisation.
The IVCO will exhibit artefacts and tell the stories of the Irish Volunteers in hope of promoting a better understanding of Irish history in the years leading up to the formation of the Irish state.
We’re really looking forward to hosting the weekend, which is sure to be informative and interactive.
There’s plenty of information available on the IVCO website.
When we get more details of the weekend, we’ll post them here on our blog.
We get so much great feedback on Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor, and we thought we’d share some of it with you.
If you haven’t been to visit us yet and you need convincing, see if this does the trick…
“I will be back again in the future. There is nothing like it in Ireland. Thank you to every one who made the experience so enjoyable.”
“Brilliant day out. The staff are so nice and friendly and so welcoming . So much to do and see. Fabulous playground too. Can’t wait to go again.”
“I’ve never seen my 7 year old smile so much. Great day.”
That’s just a few quotes from reviewers on Facebook. You can check out the whole list here.
And it doesn’t stop there – we’re getting great reviews on Trip Advisor as well…
“A World War buff’s dream made accessible for all”
“…the fact we could touch the artefacts, including decommissioned guns and grenades made it so much more real.”
“We’ve visited quite a few war museums from London to Paris to New Orleans and this place ranks among the best…”
We’ll see you soon then?
We’d like to thank everyone who turned up to our official opening on Friday 1st May. It was great to see so many people with a shared interest in military history. We were pretty lucky with the weather as well!
Thanks to Karl Martin, you can relive the best bits in a perfectly put together highlights package…
Want to know a little bit more about our upcoming events at the Living History Festival?
Here’s a breakdown of a few talks and events taking place on 2nd & 3rd May.
|Learn how to March like a WW2 American GI||12 noon and 2 pm|
|“The War of the White Death”, talk on Finland’s War||1 pm Saturday|
|French Resistance and SOE, Behind Enemy Lines.||Throughout the 2 days|
|Infantry Weapons of The WW2 Soldier.||Throughout the 2 days|
|“Point Du Hoc – Rangers Lead the Way”. A talk on the amazing Ranger Raid on D-day.||1 pm Saturday
3 pm Sunday
|Waterloo 200 yrs on, why Napoleon Won.||3pm & 5pm Saturday|
|The Fighting French of WW2.||Throughout the 2 days|
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we will be closed to the general public on Thursday May 14th.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
Join us tomorrow (21st April) for a day of action. Entry to the museum will be just €2 for adults and €2 for kids and proceeds will be donated to ONE (The Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women). You’ll also get a mini-medal to take home with you to say thanks for your donation.
ONE, founded in 1951, takes care of the welfare of ex-servicemen and women of the Irish Defense Services. It also provides accommodation to homeless, elderly or disabled members in of shelter as well as developing a spirit of comradeship between serving and retired members of the services. All-in-all, it’s a worthy cause.
We’re very proud to be supporting this charity tomorrow, and it’d be great if you could to. Just €2 in the door is all it takes, and we’ll make sure you get a proper look around the museum and its grounds in return.
Thanks in advance for your support.
With less than two weeks to go until we open our doors for the Living History Festival, in association with the Living History Club, we thought we’d update you on a few of the events that will be going on over the course of the two days.
Join us on May 2nd and 3rd for a spectacular weekend where history will come to life – watch 2000 years of history come alive before your eyes. Witness all this and more:
- Battle reenactments – 4pm on Saturday and Sunday
- Blank fire demonstrations – at regular intervals throughout the weekend
- WWII Vehicles – see how soldiers were transported
- Materials of War – including artillery pieces, mortars, rifles and machine guns
- Medieval Archery – Dave Hodson will be demonstrating the art of archery
- Modern rocketry – build and launch your own rocket (extra costs will be incurred – please enquire for more information)
- Amateur radio demonstrations – morse code and communication with a worldwide audience
- Face-painting – guaranteed to put a smile on your face (unless you to paint a frown!)
- More activities and events TBC
We will be covering a vast range of time periods, so there’s sure to be something that takes your interest over the two days.
- Romans – Come and meet the soldiers that conquered the known world
- Vikings at Large – Meet these raiders from the North-lands, up close and personal
- Waterloo – Meet the Famous Irish Soldiers of Wellington and the Imperial Guard of Emperor Napoleon
- American Civil War – See the uniforms and materials from the war that shaped US and Irish involvement
- Irish War of Independence & 1916 – Learn about this great country’s fight for freedom
- WWI – Witness what life was like in the trenches, up close and personal
- WWII – See how life was on the frontline. See the war through the eyes of the young men and women living through it
As if that wasn’t enough, we also have a series of talks given by historian Con O’Sullivan, as well as educational and interactive activities from members of The Military History Club some of which include:
- Learn how to March like a WW2 American GI. – 12 noon and 2 pm each day.
- “The War of the White Death” – talk on Finland’s War.
- Waterloo 200 yrs on – why Napoleon Won.
- The Fighting French of WW2.
- French Resistance and SOE, Behind Enemy Lines.
- Infantry Weapons of The WW2 Soldier
- “Point Du Hoc – Rangers Lead the Way” – A talk on the amazing Ranger Raid on D-day.
Admission is just €10 for adults and €5 for kids. It’s €25 for a family (2 adults, 2 kids).
For directions and maps, click here.
The Irish Military War Museum invites you all to its OFFICIAL OPENING!
On Friday 1st May, we’re going to be officially opening the museum and its grounds and we’d love if you could join us to celebrate.
Join us from 3pm – 5pm to find out more about the museum and its origins as well as discover more about historical events that have shaped the stories and artefacts within the museum.
On the day, you will hear great insights from the following people:
- William Sullivan – Curator of the Irish Military War Museum
- Paul Keogh – Minister of State at the Department of Defence
- Helen McEntee – TD for Meath East
- Michael Ludlow – Meath Leader
It’s sure to be a great day for all, and we’re really looking forward to cutting the big red ribbon!