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Robert Quigg VC

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Robert Quigg VC

Post  Admin on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:00 am

Born on Saturday 28th February 1885 Carnkirk, Giants Causeway, County Antrim.

Before going to war Robert Quigg worked on the estate of the Honourable Sir E. C. Macnaghten as a farm labourer, it was his son (Lieutenant Harry Macnaghten) that Rifleman Quigg served as a batman (servant).

Rifleman (12/18645) ROBERT QUIGG
12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles


On the morning of the Somme Offensive, Quigg had advanced with his platoon three times. Having survived that day in which so many of his comrades had been killed or wounded, he learned the Sir Harry was wounded and lying somewhere out in no mans land

On Saturday 1st July 1916
At Hamel, France.

Rifleman Quigg advanced to the assault with his platoon three times. Early next morning hearing a rumour that his platoon officer was lying wounded, he went out seven times to look for him under heavy shell and machine-gun fire, each time bringing back a wounded man. The last man he dragged in on a waterproof sheet from within a few yards of the enemy’s wire. He was engaged for seven hours in this most gallant work and finally was so exhausted that he had to give it up.
Lieutenant Macnaghten’s body was never found, he was posted as missing believed killed.

Rifleman Quigg received his decoration from King George V on Thursday 8th January 1917 at a ceremony held at York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate. Queen Mary was also in attendance.

It is said that when the King presented the Victoria Cross to Rifleman Quigg he commented, “You are a very brave man Quigg” to which Quigg replied “you’re a brave man yourself King.”

On his return to his hometown of Bushmills he received a tremendous welcome from the townsfolk, who turned out in force to meet their very own VC hero. The Macnaghten family were also in attendance with the lady of the house presenting her former employee with a gold watch in recognition of his bravery in trying to rescue her son.

Rifleman Quigg also served in Mesopotamia and Egypt, he survived the Great War.
Medal display at:

The Royal Ulster Rifles
Regimental Museum
5 Waring Street
Belfast
County Antrim
Northern Ireland
BT1 2EW
http://rurmuseum.tripod.com

Also awarded:
Russian Cross of St. George (4th Class)
1914-15 Star.
British War medal.
Victory Medal.
General Service Medal with clasp.
Silver Jubilee Medal 1935.
Coronation Medals for 1937, 1953.

In 1926 Quigg fell fifty feet from a third storey window of a soldiers home in Clifton Street, Belfast, narrowly escaping being impaled on spiked railings. He was so seriously injured that he was not expected to survive.

Robert Quigg was medically discharged in 1934 as a sergeant, but continued to work in the Royal Ulster Rifles depot in Armagh as a civilian worker.

Robert Quigg’s Victoria Cross was purchased from him in 1953 on behalf of the Royal Ulster Rifles. Major A. E. Matthews completed this task. It is stored by the Museum’s bankers.

Sergeant Robert Quigg VC died on Saturday14th May 1955 (aged 70) at Dalriada Hospital, Ballycastle, County Antrim. He was buried with full military honours in:
BILLY PARISH CHURCHYARD (Near Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland).

Also Commemorated by:
MEMORIAL STONE in grounds of The ULSTER MEMORIAL TOWER


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