Ulster Covenant and Historical Society (North Antrim) branch led a poignant and dignified Commemorative Parade and Church Service to Billy Parish Church on Saturday 10th May.
At the service members remembered and reflected on the story of Sgt Robert Quigg VC (28th Feb 1885 – 14th May 1955) and Lieutenant Harry MacNaughten.
Although from different social backgrounds, defined as intra community, both coming from Bushmills, it illustrated the sense of belonging to a wider family that transcends religion or social divide.
Darren Quigg (Chair and Great Nephew of R Quigg VC) commented: “As Rev J Anderson remarked within the service that, although we are here to remember the story of Sgt Robert Quigg VC, countless men from the 36th Ulster division, the 16th & 10th Irish made the supreme sacrifice; and that their own heroism should be recorded and never be forgotten.
“This project I hope will encourage a deeper understanding of Ulster/Irish history as it captures how Sgt Robert Quigg VC went into no-man’s land seven times returning each time with a wounded soldier. This story encapsulates the objectives of the Good Relations programme as it demonstrates the risk taken by an individual to rescue another individual irrespective of religion, class, age or gender.
“As a father, I am immensely proud that my daughter Darrian Quigg acknowledged the legacy involved by laying a wreath in proud remembrance of a family member who had paid the supreme sacrifice.
“The camaraderie on display during the commemorative parade and church service with social event afterwards, again represents accurately the true story of today and at this juncture, I would like to thank the ladies of Billy Parish Church, Rev J Anderson, the select vestry of Billy Parish Church, Padre R Ralston, R. Baxter (oration at grave-side), the Mill Tea Room, Dervock, Ulster Covenant and Historical Society branches from Fermanagh and Scotland, members from the Harryville Partnership (Carson project) Piper M. Adair and Bugler G. Lynn who collectively helped deliver a successful event.”
In concluding Darren Quigg added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ballymoney Borough Council and to acknowledge the funding received through their ‘Good Relations Small Grants Programme’ for this project.”