VC memorial for Killead war hero who lies buried in unmarked grave in Malta

A WAR hero from Killead is to be commemorated with a memorial stone in his home village.

At a council meeting in July, it was recommended that a commemorative VC Paving Stone be installed in recognition of Charles McCurrie VC following a similar approval in relation to Major Hugh Colvin.

Born in Killead, in 1830, Charles McCurrie enlisted in the British Army in c.1850 with the 57th Regiment of Foot (later Middlesex Regiment, Duke of Cambridge's Own).

This regiment was posted to the Crimea on the outbreak of war in 1854.

The date of the heroic event that led to the VC award, was June 23 1855.

McCurrie spent the majority of his time in the Crimea serving in the trenches outside the gates of Sebastopol during the siege.

On the night of June 23 1855, he was on duty in the trenches, when a live shell which had been thrown from the Russian battery, landed in amongst McCurrie and his comrades.

Without hesitation, he picked up the shell and threw it over the parapet, where it exploded, and no one was hurt.

McCurrie, who was awarded the Crimean Medal with two clasps (Inkerman and Sebastopol) and the Turkish Medal, was one of the first men gazetted for the new Victoria Cross on February 24 1857.

At the time of the award, he was serving in Malta, and arrangements were made to post his medal to the island so that it could be presented to him by Lieutenant General J L Pennefather, the GOC of Malta.

Sadly, before the medal could be presented, McCurrie died aged just 27 on April 8 1857.

*Read the full story in this week’s Antrim Guardian

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