My Service Life 1939-1979 William ‘Bill’ Balmer

On Saturday 26th September Ballymoney Borough Council launched ‘My Service Life, 1939- 1979’ William ‘Bill’ Balmer. This book was written by Ronnie Gamble project managed by Causeway Museum Service and edited by Causeway Museum Service and Ballymoney Museum. Funding for this project was secured from the Big Lottery ‘Their Past Your Future’ project which was administered in Northern Ireland by the Northern Ireland Museum Council.

The book highlights the courageous and loyal Service life of Bill Balmer. Bill began his service life joining the Royal Marines in 1939 and it was not long before he was on active service during the Second World War. Bill and his unit fought bravely but were trapped at Calais and taken as Prisoners of War. Bill’s bravery and courage were to help him endure his long and grueling incarceration in various locations in Prisoner of War and work camps until the war ended and he returned home. Bill then remained in the Royal Marines becoming a Royal Marine Commando and earning his green beret. Following service in Malaya and Malta Bill returned home again taking a job as a local post man. Bill’s service did not end there – he then joined the B specials and the Ulster Defense Regiment and became a member of the British Legion.

An exceptional life of service is captured through Bill’s recollections which are communicated faithfully through many recording of Bill’s experiences and feelings. The book is a record of not so much a history as a personal account of one’s man journey through a remarkable and selfless life of service.

Ashleigh Kirkpatrick, Causeway Museum Service Collections Access Officer commented, “Ballymoney Borough Council and Causeway Museum Service are delighted to have had the opportunity to publish Bill’s remarkable memories and experiences and to ensure that his experiences are recorded for future generations”.

Published by Causeway Museum Service, the first 750 copies will be distributed free of charge to veterans, schools, libraries, museums and to appropriate community groups.

For further information contact:
Ashleigh Kirkpatrick, Causeway Museum Service
Tel: 028 70 347234 E mail:  

Book Launch