An exploration into the time periods of
Ballykinlar Camp

Who were the clients?

The project which is entitled 'The Ballykinlar History Hut Project' is an EU - Peace IV funded heritage project. It is a collaborative venture between CDDA (Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis), The Living Legacies 1914 - 18 WW1 Public Engagement Centre, Down County Museum and the Newry & Mourne District Council.
These organisations have all joined together to help promote and provide a service for the recent discovery and the recreation of 'The Ballykinlar History Hut.'

What is the Ballykinlar History Hut?

The hut which many war soldiers in the past have been stationed and trained at has stood over multiple time periods such as World War 1, Internment and World War 2.
Relatives of the WW1 soldiers and internees have approached the researchers and historians with information and artefacts to add to the histories and stories of the hut. With all of that, along with the camp that it was based in, coming to light, it is being amongst one of the exciting discoveries that Northern Ireland are currently possessing and the Down Museum are pleased to share it all with the public.




What was the project?

The task carried out for this project, was to create a comic book in relation to this recently excavated discovery.
The comic book, presented for all ages is mostly designed to a younger audience for educational purposes and to interest them in the discovery. However, not only is it for educational purposes, it is also promotional material for the hut itself.
The comic book entitled 'Faces of Time : The Adventures of the Ballykinlar History Hut' was created both by Illustrator Joshua Montgomery and myself.
It depicts a fictional story which branch out to 3 individual mini-stories, factual narratives.
This, in opinion is probably a more interesting / helpful way for most children and young adults to learn and keep their attention span going, as the main character is a school student which is a character that many school kids could relate to.

'Faces of Time : The Adventures of the Ballykinlar History Hut' is scheduled for release in May 2019.

Concept Art and Narrative

The comic book, as already mentioned presents a fictional story linking factual and historic mini-stories, follows a girl embarking on a magical journey during a school trip.
As can be easily guessed, the school is visiting Ballykinlar camp, which is the historic landmark that the soldiers, huts and trainees were placed throughout the First World War, Internment and the Second World War.

The girl, an intelligent, yet rebellious student, presented as some sort of an outcast in her class, sneaks away from the group and approaches the recently discovered Ballykinlar History Hut.
The hut, which is currently housing found objects and the historical artifacts, gives the girl an opportunity to explore.
From dog tags, soldier outfits to personal letters and photographs, the girl explores every nook and cranny until she comes to a rather rusty old pocket watch that takes her on a journey to remember. 

As the comic book team consisted of two creators, including myself, different roles were to be carried out.
The role taken in this case was concept artist/writer and this obviously entailed the designing of the characters and forming a narrative for the other creator, the illustrator to follow and present in the overall comic book.
Finally to finish it all off, the role of the writer also included developing  the story / dialogue in the panels and presenting it in the famous comic book layout / tradition.

  • The characters involved in the story consist of the girl, named Olivia, other schoolchildren, the teacher/leader of the school group. The more in depth characters that Olivia encounters are the more factual characters, characters based on actual historic soldiers and the inhabitants of the hut that were stationed over the periods of World War 1, Internment and World War 2.

    World War 1 - James Hughes (Rifleman)
    Internment - Peter Burns (Prisoner)
    World War 2 - William Wolfe (American G.I)