Library celebrates role of women during wartime

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The changing role of women in conflict around the world is being celebrated in Belfast on International Women’s Day on Friday.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial, in partnership with the Linen Hall library, are hosting an event from noon to 4pm highlighting the role of women on the home front and the frontline from 1815-2015.

The event which starts in the Linen Hall library “is open to everyone, and that includes men, children, and grandfathers” according to curator of the Northern Ireland War Memorial, Ciaran Elizabeth Doran.

The event will include a talk from Mrs Doran on women and war with a follow-up question and answer session.

“After the event we are taking an informal tour from Linen Hall library to the Northern Ireland War Memorial and along the way we will stop at significant sites from wartime Belfast,” she added.

Mrs Doran said during wartime women experienced “a time of separation, heartbreak and loss and a lot of women had to be the breadwinner”.

“In Northern Ireland evacuation was not compulsory but you saw families mucking together because of rationing.

“It was a time of austerity and at the museum we try to look at it from a family perspective.

“The tour will finish in the gallery of the Northern Ireland War Memorial where visitors can view displays of women in Belfast during WW2 and enjoy tea and buns, a staple during tough times.”

Meanwhile, on March 21 north Down business leaders, families and the public will rub shoulders when Bangor-based Army Reserve Engineers throw open their doors to showcase their equipment and offer hands-on experiences for all ages at Balloo Avenue.