This is the luggage label that changed John's life forever. Aged 20 he left Randalstown and got the boat from Belfast to Liverpool then boarded the Duchess of York which to John would have been an unbeliveable size back then. John stayed in Toronto for a while, then went out west to Saskatchewan and worked on the Craig family farm, more to come.
This is the ship that John sailed on to his new life in Canada.
Here is John (Jack) McIlroy back in 1922 aged 4 wearing a sailor suit in Randalstown. Little did John know that 16 years later he would be on a ship not as a sailor but as a passenger on his own, sailing to Montreal then on to Toronto, Canada.
This is Muriel McIlroy from Randalstown back in 1941 who was a cousin of John McIlroy who went to Canada in 1938. In this studio photograph Muriel is wearing a single string of Pearls.
In this studio photograph of Muriel taken a couple of years later she is now wearing a set of three strings of Pearls.
McILROY'S 3832
Here at the village of Craven in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan which is next to the American border is Samuel and John
McIlroy in 1939. Taking a break from work on the Craig family farm to get their photo taken is Samuel on the tractor and his son John standing beside the tractor.
McILROY 3833
John had now moved to Winnipeg in Manitoba Canada where this photograph of him was taken in his army uniform as a Lance Corporal in 1940 John had joined the Canadian Army (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry), where he served alongside his Dad, Samuel McIlroy. He has signed the photo " To Helyn Johnny all my Love." Helyn was his cousin. Later on he was to give his true love to a girl he met in Winnipeg called Ruth Jones.
McILROY'S 3835
Here are the happy couple out for a stroll we have John & Ruth, one year on in 1947 and still in love looking at Ruth's face.
It's the 2nd August 1946 one year after the war and here is John with his beautiful Bride Ruth after their wedding.
Standing outside their Randalstown home in 1944-1945 we have home on leave Samuel (Sam) McIlroy with his two sisters who sadly are unknown, depending on the year Sam was either 43 or 44. Now if you know either of the sisters please let me know.
Sadly none of the Cory band members are known but perhaps you can help me please.
Let's bring the photograph to life once more.
This postcard of Portrush was sent in a letter but when reading the message the year has to be between 1943 and 1944.
The letter was sent to: Miss Maureen McIlroy of 487 Centennial Street, Winnipeg 9, Man, Canada.
Message reads: I went to Portrush on Sunday and the day was lovely. Loads of people and I saw a good many Canadian Sailors as they have rest near. Helen had a letter from Johnny and he says he is well and working very hard. A.M.
This photograph showing the ruins of Shane's Castle on the shores of Lough Neagh was made into a postcard. It was posted in Randalstown in 1945 to a: Miss R (Ruth) Jones, 1604 Ross Ave, Winnipeg Canada. The message reads: My leave finishes today and I hope to be in Canada in a few weeks. Johnny (McIlroy).
Johnny and Ruth were married the following year 1946.
I was given this cardboard photo by Tanya Selfridge of her Grandfather aged 18 having just joined the Enniskillen Fussilers for WWII,
It was in four pieces and this is it all but one piece.
Here is John back to life now.
Here we have John McClean WWII medals. Going from left to right.
The 1939 - 1945 Star medal: The 1939 to 1945 Star is awarded to personnel who completed operational service overseas between 3 September 1939 and 8 May 1945
The Africa Star: Is awarded to personnel who served in North Africa, Malta or Egypt between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943. The clasp means he served twice in these area's.
The France and Germany Star: is awarded for operational service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands or Germany between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945.
The Defense medal: is awarded for non-operational service such as those service personnel working in headquarters, on training bases and airfields and members of the Home Guard.
3 years service in the UK between 3 Sep 1939 and 8 May 1945
The War Medal: 1939 to 1945: is awarded to all full time personnel of the armed forces wherever they were serving. The medal was granted in addition to campaign stars
and the Defense Medal.