Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Greenisland Home Guard

Regular readers may recall that late last year, George from Greenisland asked me how the area got its name. Billy, a lifelong Greenisland resident, replied that Greenisland is named after the small island off the shore at Seapark. You can see it if you are walking along the Shore Road or from the Knockagh Hill.

Now I've another Greenisland query. Ian's heard that there were a number of army camps in the area during the war. He believes that there was one at Ravenhill (now a nursing home) and another at Neill's Lane (now Belfast High School playing fields). He's also heard that the local scouts acted as enemy on occasion for the local Home Guard.

This raises a few questions about these camps and the role of the Scouts and Home Guard during the war. How many army camps were there in Greenisland? Where were they and what were their names? Did they exist before the war or were they built for the war period itself? When did they close? How did the Scouts act as 'the enemy' - launch some form of 'pretend' invasion or 'attacking' different buildings? And does anyone have any information about the Home Guard? Can anyone recall any names - or even even where they were based in Greenisland? I've forwarded both Ian and my own questions on to Billy and will print his answers in future issues of Kerr's Corner.

On the subject of local history, I'm keen to set up a contact list of local historians who could supply information or answer questions about the local area. Kerr's Corner is read from Rathcoole to Carrickfergus, so if you'd like to get in touch just email me at


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