Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Heroic soldier's nephew helps publicise new VC stamps

William McFadzean's nephew Bill McFadzean proudly displays his uncle's Victoria Cross alongside Royal Mail's new stamp, which features Poyntzpass born Charles Lucas. US38-734SP

A LISBURN man whose uncle posthumously received the Victoria Cross for an act of extreme bravery during the First World War has helped publicise a new series of stamps to commemorate other members of the armed forces who received the VC.

Mr. Bill McFadzean has been photographed proudly holding William McFadzeans medal beside one of the new stamps which features Charles Lucas from Poyntzpass - the first person to receive the honour.

Mr. McFadzean, whose medal has been given to the Royal Ulster Rifles Museum in Belfast, died in France in an act of totally unselfish courage which saved the lives of many of his comrades.

The incident occurred in a trench as an attack on the German lines was being prepared.

Bombs were being handed out when one lost its pin and fell into a box containing many more of the devices.

Mr. McFadzean immediately threw himself over the box which exploded, killing him instantly.

However, as his body absorbed much of the blast none of the other soldiers in the trench were killed. The VC which he was posthumously awarded was presented to his father the following year by King George V.

Mr. McFadzean Senior was sent a third class ticket for travel between his home in Belfast and London to receive the honour.

A number of people from the Lisburn area received the Victoria Cross after it was first commissioned by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.

Glenavy man Samuel Hill was a Sergeant in the 90th Regiment and served during the Indian Mutiny.

William James Lendrum, who was born in Lisburn, was a Corporal in the Corps of Royal Engineers and served in the Crimean War.

William David Kenny was from Saintfield. He served in 4/39th Garhwai Rifles of the Indian Army near Kot Kai (Waziristan). A memorial to Mr. Kenny is located in Donaghadee.

The Victoria Cross remains the world's most famous medal for bravery and Royal Mail is marking the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Victoria Cross with six stamps which were issued yesterday (Thursday).

Ulster Star