VC men to be remembered on streets

VC men to be remembered on streets

Streets across Northern Ireland are set to be paved with commemorative stones in honour of those awarded the Victoria Cross after the first World War.

Six men from Northern Ireland were bestowed with the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for "valour in the face of the enemy".

They're set to be honoured further next year on the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, when the towns and villages they were from will be paved with commemorative stones remembering them.

A plaque at Bridge Street in Comber already remembers Edmund De Wind, who has a remarkable story of bravery in the conflict.

Local historian Lester Morrow said: "It was with the 15th battalion Royal Irish Rifles on the 21st March 1918 he won his posthumous VC by holding out for about eight hours the Germans in Racecourse Redoubt.

"And it was only when he was killed that there were about 30 men left that they actually surrendered that outpost."

Almost certain to be honoured will be the following men, all recipients of the Victoria Cross:

  • Eric Norman Frankland Bell, from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, died rallying and reorganising infantry parties which had lost their officers after going forward alone and throwing bombs at the enemy.
  • William Frederick 'Billy' McFadzean, from Lurgan in Co Armagh, gave his life for his comrades after a box of bombs slipped into the trench. He jumped on them, and was killed.
  • Robert Quigg, from the town land of Ardihannon near the Giant's Causeway in Co Antrim, brought back seven wounded men from the battlefield one day, despite being under heavy shell and machine gun fire.
  • Robert Morrow, from the Co Tyrone village of Newmills, was also under heavy fire when he rescued and carried to safety several men buried deep in the trenches wrecked by shell fire.
  • Edward Bingham, from Bangor in Co Down, received his award for valour during the Battle of Jutland, off Denmark. His was one of the few maritime Victoria Crosses awarded.

There will now be a competition to design the memorial stones as well as cultural events, candle lit vigils and services of commemoration across the UK which will be attended by Commonwealth leaders.

© UTV

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