Instruments used to entertain US troops ahead of D-Day go on display

Old instruments belonging to a talented musician who entertained American troops at Ballykinlar camp during the Second World War are to go on display at Downpatrick museum.

Sharon Lynas’s grandfather Albert Kendall was a store manager and flute player.

He played the piano along with celebrated US singer Al Johnson while her grandmother Josephine Killen helped organise dances for soldiers during the build-up to D-Day.

Ms Lynas said: “I am very proud that they did do that and that they can be part of this history.”

A photo of Corporal Albert James Kendall
A photo of Corporal Albert James Kendall

Mr Kendall played cricket with the troops while Ms Killen used to cook for them.

Local people went in and out of the camp with supplies.

Ms Lynas gave artefacts to the museum at Downpatrick, including a wooden cross her grandfather found in France aged 17 during the First World War.

Ms Lynas said: “For him the cross was not a relic, he could not leave it behind just to be tramped on.

“It is not gold, it is not anything, but it did glint in the sunbeam that morning for him to notice it.”

It was kept in her family and saved from a recent fire at her mother’s home.