Co Antrim war hero honoured with blue plaque in his home village

Suzanne McGonagle
30 June, 2016 01:00

A CO Antrim soldier awarded the highest military honour for bravery shown during the Battle of the Somme has been honoured in his home village.

An Ulster History Circle blue plaque has been dedicated to Sgt Robert Quigg at the Old Causeway School in Bushmills.

It comes after a a specially commissioned bronze statue of the war hero was unveiled in the village by Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday.

Mr Quigg was born in 1885 in the Ardihennon townland and attended the Bushmills school from 1892.

He later worked on local farms and the nearby Macnaghten Estate before enlisting in the 12th Royal Irish Rifles when the Great War began in August 1914.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour after going out into the line of fire to search for his commanding officer who was missing during battle on July 1 1916.

Lt Sir Harry Macnaghten was not just his senior officer, he was also the heir to the Macnaghten estate at Bushmills where Mr Quigg worked prior to the war.

He went out numerous times to search for him and each time returned with a wounded soldier, but he never found Sir Harry.

After receiving the Victoria Cross, he received a hero's welcome in Bushmills where he lived until his death in 1955 and was buried with full military honours.

Chris Spur of the Ulster History Circle said Mr Quigg was "commemorated almost 100 years to the day his valour won him the Victoria Cross in World War One".

"On a day of commemorations in the Bushmills area, the Ulster History Circle is delighted to honour this hero of the Somme with a blue plaque placed on the former Causeway National School which he attended as a boy."

30 June, 2016 01:00 News