VC men to be remembered on streets

Published Monday, 05 August 2013
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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.

VC men to be remembered on streets
The six men from NI awarded VC medals. (© UTV)

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 News
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14 Comments
Alan in Whitehead wrote (472 days ago):
@ peter and con . What has this got to do with loyalists and uvf ???
con in belfast wrote (472 days ago):
@peter in armagh. I think you'll find that millions of people worldwide commemorate the fallen from WW1/WW2 (unionists being a small percentage of us). Indeed the large percentage of people who honour their dead are roman catholics. If it weren't for these brave souls we mightn't be here now at liberty. Obviosly you know little about the war and history in general bar what you have been ingrained with (likely a poor interpretation of real history). Show soem respect for men much braver than yourself, who knows one day such men may save your families lives again.
we will remember them in belfast wrote (473 days ago):
@peter protestants and catholics fought side by side in a world war while the republic of ireland guided german bombers to northern ireland these people gave everything so people like you could have a better future these soldiers gave all and all you have to say is get over it as the saying gos ignorance is bliss keep your poor attitude to yourself FOOL !!
Frosty in Here wrote (473 days ago):
World War One, dubbed the Great War and the War to end all wars. It didn't end all wars, millions were slaughtered, so what was so great about it? Our politicians are the ones who send our sons off to get killed, not their own. Two thirds of all combatants in both world wars were conscripts. Why? To kill off the unemployed teenage breeders and so slow down the population growth and introduce a new order from the chaos. With each war we lose more freedom, so they didn't die to protect it, they were killed to remove it. Coming soon, care of our policiticals, the Absolutely Fantastic War. The old lie, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (it is a fine and noble thing to die for one's country) - still relevant today, particularly here, although it should be to murder (not die) for one's country.
Proud in Ballysillan wrote (473 days ago):
Its good to remember the men who fought hard for our country, I'm amazed anyone could find a fault in supporting them.
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