Commemorative stone to be laid at Killead for VC hero Charles McCurry

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An installation ceremony is to take place in March for a commemorative Victoria Cross paving stone in Killead near Antrim.

It is in recognition of Charles McCurry VC and will be adjacent to the Presbyterian Church and manse.

According to a report from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council the date proposed for the unveiling ceremony in Killead, has now been confirmed as 11.30am on Thursday 28th March 2019.

Arrangements are being progressed in partnership with the Royal British Legion to prepare for the installation ceremony.

The report added: ‘As there has been some discussion around the spelling of the surname, surviving relatives have been contacted and have confirmed that the spelling should be ‘McCurry’.

McCurry, who joined up as a teenager, saw action in the Crimean War with the 57th Regiment of Foot, nicknamed The Diehards and later renamed the Middlesex Regiment.

Private McCurry won his VC at Sebastopol in June 1855 when, at great personal risk, he picked up a live shell aimed at his trench from an enemy battery and tossed it over the parapet where it exploded seconds later.

The lives of several of the brave young soldier’s comrades down in the trench with him were saved by his action.

He didn’t live to receive his medal.

He was posted to Malta with the 57th, where he died before the investiture could take place.

McCurry was laid to rest in the Msida Bastion Cemetery near the Maltese capital Valetta.

The Victoria Cross was created by Queen Victoria in 1856 and the first investiture took place the following year at Hyde Park.

Private McCurry, who was still abroad, was not among the first 62 recipients of the medal from the Queen, all of them veterans of the Crimean War.

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