Portadown, Co. Armagh

World War Two brought many changes to the town of Portadown, Co. Armagh. British, American, Belgian, and even German troops found themselves in the town.

Portadown

Co. Armagh

United Kingdom

Throughout the Second World War, Portadown, Co. Armagh underwent many changes seeing the building of defensive structures along the line of the Bann River and the arrival of troops from Britain, American and even Belgium.

The town lies on the banks of the River Bann in the Armagh, Banbridge, and Craigavon Borough Council area. It is part of Craigavon along with Lurgan. The town was once known as The Hub Of The North. At 24 miles or 39km south-west of Belfast, it has links with the Northern Irish capital via the M1 motorway and a direct railway line. With transport via railways and the River Bann, it became an important centre for textile and linen production.

VE Day in Portadown, Co. Armagh

The VE Day celebrations in Portadown, Co. Armagh. Crowds gather outside St. Mark's Church from where you can see a water tank in the foreground and an air raid shelter further down the street. Photo from Portadown Photos.

American Forces

The following American forces were based in the Co. Armagh town between 1943 and 1944. If you have more information on exact bases, please get in touch.

Start DateEnd DateUnits
18/10/194322/12/1943Company K, 467th Quartermaster Truck Regiment
22/12/194302/04/19443630th Quartermaster Truck Company (Heavy)
07/11/194306/06/194455th Finance Disbursing Section
11/194306/194419th Special Services Company (Minus)
24/12/194328/01/1944Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 152nd Quartermaster Battalion (Mobile)
05/04/194406/05/1944136th Quartermaster Truck Company (Nebraska National Guard)

Places of Interest

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

Map showing Ahorey Presbyterian Church, Ahorey, Co. Armagh

Ahorey Presbyterian Church, Ahorey, Co. Armagh

122-148 Aghory Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

In August 1942, visitors from the US Army came to Ahorey Presbyterian Church, Co. Armagh. A preacher, soloist, and organist brought some American flair.

Map showing Annagh Pillbox, Tandragee Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Annagh Pillbox, Tandragee Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Tandragee Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Known as the Annagh Pillbox in the Portadown area, the Type 28 concrete defensive structure would have overlooked the River Bann on the main road between Portadown and Tandragee in Co. Armagh.

Map showing Bann Bridge Air Raid Shelter, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Bann Bridge Air Raid Shelter, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Bridge Street, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Contractors discovered an air-raid shelter dating from the early 1940s beneath the Bann Bridge in Portadown in 2005. It is a rare find in Northern Ireland.

Map showing Bleary Pillbox, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Bleary Pillbox, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Cranny Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The Bleary Pillbox is similar in construction to nearby structures at Drumlin Hill, Moyallan. It is one of seven pillboxes in the town making up defences along the River Bann.

Map showing Brownstown Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Brownstown Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Fitzroy Street, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Camp 11a, the Brownstown Prisoner of War Camp, was lost beneath redevelopment of the Brownstown Estate in the 1960s but residents remember German inmates.

Map showing Carrickblacker Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Carrickblacker Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

192 Gilford Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Portadown Golf Club was once the site of a grand house and the Carrickblacker Prisoner of War Camp, which took its name from the 17th century mansion.

Map showing Drumcree Church of Ireland, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Drumcree Church of Ireland, Portadown, Co. Armagh

78 Drumcree Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Drumcree Church of Ireland churchyard in Portadown, Co. Armagh contains five Commonwealth War Graves dating from World War Two between 1940 and 1946.

Map showing Killicomaine Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Killicomaine Prisoner of War Camp, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Killicomaine Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The Killicomaine Prisoner of War Camp stood on the grounds of Killicomaine Castle or Irwin's Castle running onto Collen's Lane, now called Princess Way.

Map showing Moyallan Pillbox, Gilford Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Moyallan Pillbox, Gilford Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Gilford Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The Moyallan Pillbox remains standing on a crest overlooking the River Bann defensive line in the townland of Moyallan between Portadown in Co. Armagh and Gilford in Co. Down.

Map showing Portadown War Memorial, Church Street, Portadown, Co Armagh

Portadown War Memorial, Church Street, Portadown, Co Armagh

Church Street, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The Portadown War Memorial, made of bronze and Irish granite, stands in front of St. Mark's Church of Ireland in the Co. Armagh town commemorating men and women from the area who died in both World Wars.

Map showing Seagoe Cemetery, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Seagoe Cemetery, Portadown, Co. Armagh

59 Seagoe Road, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Seagoe Cemetery in the Co. Armagh town of Portadown contains fourteen Commonwealth War Graves relating to World War Two dating between 1940 and 1946.

Map showing The Plaza Ballroom, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The Plaza Ballroom, Portadown, Co. Armagh

Bridge Street, Portadown, Co. Armagh

The old Plaza Ballroom building on Bridge Street, Portadown has had many uses; in recent times a funeral parlour but in the 1940s, it was full of life.