This exhibition explores the role of Larne Naval Base and the part it played in the fight against the U-boat threat during the First World War.
In 1914 Larne was a thriving market town and seaport in a strategically important position on the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland. From the very beginning of the war, Larne’s importance increased as a port for embarking and disembarking troops and supplies.
In 1914, no-one thought that German U-boats would prove to be a key weapon. They first appeared in local waters in early 1915. By the spring of that year more than 100 Royal Naval Reserve manned trawlers and drifters were based in Larne. They carried out the dangerous work of minesweeping, patrol work, convoy escort and maintaining the anti-submarine nets which were laid between Rathlin Island and the Scottish mainland, as well as at other points in the North Channel. From 1916, Larne-based vessels were also deploying further anti-submarine devices.
When victory came in 1918, the naval forces based in Irish ports and airfields had been crucial in winning the war.