A limited edition medal in memory of a local war hero has been specially commissioned by the Orange Order in North Antrim.
Robert Quigg, who enlisted with the 12th Battalion RIR in the First World War, was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry during the Battle of the Somme campaign which began on July 1, 1916.
It was reported that Lieutenant Harry Macnaughten from Dundarave estate was missing. Robert Quigg volunteered to go out into “no man’s land” to try and locate him. He went out seven times to search for the missing officer, without success. On each occasion, he came under machine gun fire, but he managed to return with a wounded colleague. The body of Lieutenant Harry Macnaghten was never recovered.
His heroism has been well documented ever since, however, many felt that was not enough and in 2012 The Robert Quigg VC Commemoration Society was formed by local war historian Robert Thompson to raise funds for a statue to be erected in Quigg’s home village of Bushmills.
It is hoped to have the sculpture erected to coincide with the centenary of the commencement of the Battle of the Somme on July 1 2016.
There has been a positive response to the appeal and the North Antrim Amalgamated Orange Committee has weighed in with a medal – one of just 300 made. It bears the inscription ‘Private Robert Quigg VC, 12th Battalion R.I.R. for valour, Somme, July 1, 1916’ and comes in a presentation box.
The medal has just gone on sale and according to John McGregor of the NAAOC, the response has been encouraging.
“Robert Quigg became a legend and we feel this is a project worthy of support. The medal costs £20 and will obviously be something that will appreciate in value in the years ahead,” Mr McGregor said.
For further information contact Mr McGregor on 07789758432 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org