World War Two in Donaghadee, Co. Down

The small town of Donaghadee, Co. Down still contains remnants of its Second World War History as well as tragic memories of the sinking of "Miss Betty".


Co. Down


United Kingdom

Donaghadee in a small town on the north-east of the Ards Peninsula. It lies about 18 miles east of Belfast, Co. Antrim and 6 miles south-east of Bangor, Co. Down. During the Second World War, the town was central to many activities taking place on Belfast Lough.

Two men from the town, one of whom was a member of the Donaghadee Lifeboat crew died in 1943 when “Miss Betty” sank in Belfast Lough. In nearby Millisle, Co. Down, Jewish refugees occupied Ballyrolly House and visited places such a the Regal Cinema for entertainment.

There are still signs of beach defences and structures such an air raid shelters scattered around the area. Of course, World War Two history can often prove dangerous to explore too. On 2nd November 2014, a suspected Second World War bomb washed up on the beach near Donaghadee. A British Army bomb disposal team carried out a controlled explosion before removing the device safely from the scene.

Seafire crash at Mew Island, Donaghadee, Co. Down



13th February 2018

A Supermarine Seafire crashed at Mew Island, Donaghadee, Co. Down on 13th February 1944 killing Royal New Zealand Navy Sub-Lieutenant John Esmond Marshall.

Places of Interest

The following places will be of interest to anyone wishing to explore more of the area's World War Two heritage.

Map showing Regal Cinema, Donaghadee, Co. Down

Regal Cinema, Donaghadee, Co. Down

1 Manor Street, Donaghadee, Co. Down

The Regal Cinema, Donaghadee, Co. Down was a favourite with the Jewish Kindertransport children living at the nearby Ballyrolly House, Millisle, Co. Down.