A unique insight to the life of one of Northern Ireland’s most decorated service heroes is to be provided by the War Years Remembered Museum in Ballyclare.
The family of Lt. Col. Robert Blair (Paddy) Mayne, co founder of the wartime SAS, has generously gifted to the museum an extensive collection of his possessions.
And it will be unveiling and dedicating an new exhibition relating directly to Northern Ireland during the Second World War on November 9 (2pm).
Local historian Peter Forbes, who will be giving a talk at the event, explained the significance of the Mayne material.
He said: “These have been protected and cherished by the family since his passing in 1955, and have rarely been seen in public. The collection includes his medals, uniform, war trunk and more importantly its contents...photographs, letters and documents pertaining to his life in combat, the formation of the fledgling wartime Special Air Service and pages from the original German book that became the SAS War Diary.
“The uniform, trunk and citations are being unveiled on the 9th, and over the next few months the letters will be studied, collated and documented to help us unlock the secrets of the beginnings of this amazing group, from not just an original, but from the man who led them through some of their hardest battles, through the North African desert, through Italy and France and in to the heart of Germany itself. Blair ranks amongst the most famous of soldiers from our wartime past, and across the world he is renowned for his courage, bravery and leadership.”