Plan to remember VC hero in sculpture

The design for the sculpture of Pvt William McFadzean VC.
The design for the sculpture of Pvt William McFadzean VC.

A permanent sculpture to commemorate a Lurgan Victoria Cross winner is being planned for the town.

The Ancre Somme Association has launched a fundraising drive for a statue in honour of World War One hero William McFadzean,

The society recently established a William McFadzean VC Commemoration Society working group which consists of elected representatives from all levels of national, regional and local government as well as members of The Friends of Brownlow House, the Ancre Somme Association and members of the community who share their belief in the importance of remembrance.

A spokesman said: “William Fredrick McFadzean VC was born in High Street, Lurgan, Co Armagh on October 9, 1895, the son of William and Annie McFadzean. His father came from Dundalk, Co Louth and his mother from Co Down.

“On 1 July 1916, he and his bombing team were getting ready for the attack in the assembly trenches close to the Front Line in Thiepval Wood. Grenades were being distributed amongst the men when a box of grenades being passed to Private McFadzean fell into the trench causing some grenades to become separated from their safety pins before falling into the crowded assembly trench.

“Without a thought for himself, William threw himself on top of the bombs. The bombs exploded, killing him instantly but only slightly wounding two other soldiers. Without doubt, he saved the lives of all soldiers in the vicinity. For this act of conspicuous bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross.”

By public subscription the Society is currently raising the necessary funds that will result in a permanent sculpture of William being erected in his town of birth.

The Society has commissioned the renowned Scottish artist, Helen Runciman, to produce a cold cast sculpture of William that will be mounted on a granite plinth.

This project is only made possible through the generous funding received to date from members of the community and various organisations/companies/clubs.

The Society has arranged a Sportsman’s Dinner that is being held on Friday, March 16, in Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre.

The event will be hosted by the Lord Major of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council with special guests including Glasgow Rangers, AC Milan & England legend Mark Hateley, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Northern Ireland legend Keith Gillespie and BBC Sport NI pundit Liam Beckett MBE.

Tickets for this event are priced at £50 per person or £450 for a table of 10.

These can be purchased from Brownlow House, Victor Stewart Enterprises or via their website. For more details on tickets please visit

If you or your organisation would like to reserve tickets or a table please contact 079207 46 760 or email

Alternatively if you wish to make a financial donation please make cheques payable to the Ancre Somme Association.