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Carrickfergus to honour Victoria Cross hero James Bell Crichton with a memorial paving stone


Tribute: Mayor Paul Reid

Tribute: Mayor Paul Reid

Tribute: Mayor Paul Reid

A permanent memorial to a Northern Ireland Victoria Cross hero is to be installed in his home town in honour of his remarkable bravery during the Great War.

James Bell Crichton, who was born in Carrickfergus, had the Army's most prestigious military accolade bestowed on him for his incredible courage.

His heroics included facing a barrage of enemy machinegun fire and snipers to remove explosives from a vital bridge, and swimming across a river while under attack to deliver key messages.

Mr Crichton's Victoria Cross citation read: "Though suffering from a painful wound, he displayed the highest degree of valour and devotion to duty."

Members of Mid and East Antrim Borough council have agreed to the permanent memorial to Mr Crichton.

Mayor Paul Reid said: "James Crichton was one of just eight Victoria Cross recipients from what is now Northern Ireland, during the Great War. The installation of a permanent memorial paving stone in memory and honour of James Crichton is a fitting tribute to this inspirational man and will further ensure his story is remembered and celebrated for generations to come."

Mr Crichton was born in Carrickfergus before the family moved to Scotland.

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Later he emigrated to New Zealand.

He died in September 1961 and is buried in the Soldiers' Cemetery at Waikumete, Auckland.

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