Story of hero Robert Quigg is revisited

Robert Quigg VC.
Robert Quigg VC.

The name name of Robert Quigg, VC, is well-known to the people of north Antrim but not many have had the privilege of hearing the full story of this local hero who won Britain’s highest gallantry medal a century ago.

At their weekly meeting on Thursday morning last week, members of Ballywillan Men’s Fellowship were delighted to have as their guest speaker Len Quigg, who is a great-nephew of the Bushmills hero.

In addition to being chairman of the Robert Quigg VC Commemoration Society, which plans to unveil a statue of the gallant \Bushmills man on 1 July next, Len Quigg has written a book about his famous forebear, due for publication shortly.

A short introduction to Mr. Quigg’s talk on Thursday was given by Fellowship member James Nesbitt, who father had served with Robert Quigg in the 12th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.

Mr. Quigg spoke not only of the memorable events of 1 July 1916 – the first day of the Battle of the Somme – when the 31-year-old rifleman went seven times into “no man’s land” between the Allied and German trenches and brought back seven wounded comrades.

Promoted to sergeant, Robert Quigg received the Victoria Cross from King George V at Sandringham.

This week’s speaker will be Alex Elder, who will be recalling his former role as Hansard’s editor of debates at the Assembly.