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The unveiling of a bronze memorial to William McFadzean VC in Lurgan

The unveiling of a bronze memorial to William McFadzean VC in Lurgan

Photopress Belfast

Guests at the dedication of a plaque to the soldiers of the 6th Connaught Rangers in Ronssoy, France

Guests at the dedication of a plaque to the soldiers of the 6th Connaught Rangers in Ronssoy, France

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The unveiling of a bronze memorial to William McFadzean VC in Lurgan

A bronze bust has been unveiled to commemorate Victoria Cross recipient Private William Frederick McFadzean in his home town of Lurgan.

McFadzean was awarded the UK's highest honour for "the most conspicuous gallantry" during the Battle of the Somme.

Saturday's ceremony commemorated his actions on July 1, 1916 when, while serving in the 4th Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles, McFadzean threw himself on top of a box of grenades that had slipped into his trench, dislodging two of the safety pins.

They exploded, killing him instantly and wounding two others. McFadzean's actions saved the lives of all soldiers in the trench.

The Lord Lieutenant of County Armagh, Lord Caledon, performed the official unveiling, with the Northern Ireland Military Wives Choir and the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment also taking part in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, nationalist soldiers from the Falls Road who fought and died in World War One with the 6th Connaught Rangers have been remembered in a special ceremony in northern France. The service, held in Ronssoy yesterday, involved the dedication of a plaque to the battalion who fought alongside the 36th (Ulster) Division in March 1916.

It was the second of two ceremonies held over the weekend, with the Ulster Division commemorated in Belgium on Saturday.

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Alan McFarland, chair of the Somme Association, said yesterday's ceremony, remembering around 600 young men, was "a unique event".

As well as a laurel wreath laid by a representative of the Irish Defence Forces, poppy wreathes were laid by a member of the British armed forces.


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