VC recipient an icon of Bushmills spirit

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When the newly-crowned Queen visited Northern Ireland in 1953 she met one of Northern Ireland’s greatest First World War heroes, Sgt Robert Quigg VC.

And sixty three years on from that day she unveiled a life-size bronze statue of Sgt Quigg in his home town of Bushmills and greeted relatives of the soldier, who died in 1955.

Queen Elizabet II unveils the  Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

Queen Elizabet II unveils the Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

A member of the 12th Batallion The Royal Irish Rifles, Sgt Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross in July 1916 after spending seven hours making forays into no man’s land to bring back wounded comrades during the Battle of the Somme.

Mr Quigg’s great-nephew Leonard Quigg, a retired schoolteacher from Ballycastle, who addressed the VIPs at the unveiling an dedication of the statue last week, said: “She thought it was a wonderful piece.

“She was very impressed. She actually was able to say to me when she arrived that she had shaken the hand of Robert Quigg in 1953 when she visited Coleraine train station.

“She was very gracious. It was a tremendous occasion.”

Queen Elizabet II unveils the  Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

Queen Elizabet II unveils the Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

The former headmaster at Coleraine Inst described the visit as “a marvellous day for Bushmills. We have 195 guests of the Quigg VC Commemoration Society here today.

“Most of them are local or fairly local but there are some here from Canada, a couple from Sheffield and a lady from Greenock in Scotland and the VC’s oldest living relative, his last surviving neice...so they have come from all over the place.

“As well as that there’s about forty members of the extended Quigg family.”

During the ceremony, which was also attended by local members of the Royal British Legion and the Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a Victoria Cross commemorative stone.

Queen Elizabet II unveils the  Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War.
Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

Queen Elizabet II unveils the Robert Quigg VC statue (28 February 1885 � 14 May 1955) was a Northern Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. The award was made for his service during the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. Robert Quigg was awarded the Victoria Cross for his "Most Conspicuous Bravery" at the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Prior to the major offensive, his unit had been placed in the French village of Hamel, located on the north bank of the River Ancre. On 1st July, the Mid-Antrim Volunteers were ordered to advance through the defences towards the heavily defended German lines. During the advance, they encountered fierce resistance from heavy machine-gun and shell fire. Quigg's platoon made three advances during the day, only to be beaten back on each occasion by German fire. The final evening assault left many hundreds of the 12th Battalion lying de

The Robert Quigg VC Commemoration Society was established by Robert Thompson in October 2014 to raise funds to erect a sculpture of Robert Quigg VC in the town.

Costing £60,000, the bronze sculpture was made by the Scottish sculptor, David Annand.

Speaking about his famous great uncle, Len Quigg said: “In many ways he is an icon of the spirit of Bushmills at the time of the Great War.

“There were so many who served in the war - 500 from Bushmills and the surrounding district who joined up and went off to fight and 103 did not come back. They were killed during the conflict.

“So, he was lucky that he survived and he came back to live out his last years here at the Giant’s Causeway in his old home.”

Mr Quigg praised everyone involved who made the Royal visit a reality.

“We couldn’t have hoped for any more. We had always intended to have this ceremony on the 1st of July which would have been the exact centenary but when we were offered the opportunity to change it by a few days to tie in with the visit of Her Majesty there was only one answer to that

“It’s really been a community effort because the people of Bushmills and much further afield have been very very generous and we have virtually raised all the money we need and we want to thank everyone for that. “

Sgt Quigg was given his VC by the Queen’s grandfather, George V, at York Cottage, Sandringham. After the war he remained in the Army, and died, aged 70, in 1955.

Leonard Quigg added: “When he came back after receiving his medal in January 1917 he got a fortnight’s leave and there were celebrations around Bushmills.

“There was a huge celebration and he was the centre of attention but at the end he wouldn’t speak. He was too shy and his father had to speak for him.

“So, that tells you the sort of man he was.”