Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael, along with Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie CVO OBE unveiled a memorial stone in Killead this morning in honour of Private Charles McCurry.
They were joined at the short ceremony by Edmund and Wallace McCurry, second cousins of Private McCurry, along with representatives of the Royal British Legion branches in Antrim and Crumlin and local residents from the Killead area.
Private Charles McCurry was awarded the highest accolade in the British honours system, the Victoria Cross (VC), following his actions during the Crimean War. Private McCurry was on duty in Sebastopol in June 1855 when a live shell from the Russian battery landed amongst him and his comrades. Without hesitation, he picked up the shell and threw it over the parapet, where it exploded, saving the lives of those in the trench.
Following the Crimean War, Private McCurry was posted to Malta where he died aged just 27 and before his medal could be presented. He is buried in the Msida Bastion Ceremony near Valetta.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Councillor Michael commented;
On behalf of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Private McCurry and thank everyone for making the effort to be here today. The memorial stone is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to protecting others and I am honoured to commemorate the bravery of Private McCurry.
The memorial stone is located in Killead adjacent to the Presbyterian Church and manse. Private McCurry’s VC medal is currently held by the Middlesex Regiment and a replica of it hangs in the foyer of Antrim Royal British Legion.