National Lottery Heritage Fund

WW1 Sites

Robert Quigg VC Grave

Located in Billy Parish Church Graveyard.

Robert Quigg VC was buried here with full military honours following his death on 14 May 1955.

Bushmills War Memorial

Located in the Diamond, Bushmills.

Bushmills War Memorial was unveiled by Lady Edith Macnaghten on 5 November 1921. The memorial cost £1,300 and was paid for by public subscription.

The sculpture was designed by Charles L. Hartwell of London. It is often mistakenly reported that his work is a representation of Robert Quigg VC. However, it is unheard of for a district war memorial to be modelled on a single individual and the features of the statue bear no resemblance to the local Victoria Cross winner.

For more information on the history of Bushmills, visit these links:

Stranocum War Memorial

Located at the on the B147 Kirk Road at the junction with the Fivey Road and Ballinlea Road on the outskirts of the village.

Stranocum War Memorial is believed to be the first public war memorial erected in Ulster after the end of World War One. No date is known for its completion or unveiling but records show it was in place by early April 1920. The memorial includes the names of those who fought, in addition to those who died. The lantern on the top of the obelisk is a unique design feature which is not seen on any other Irish war memorial.

For more information on the Stranocum War Memorial, visit this link:

Dervock War Memorial

Located in the village on the Carncullagh Road.

The people of Dervock originally erected a War Memorial Institute which was opened in 1924. It served as a public facility until it was demolished in the 1980s. The hall held commemorative plaques which listed those who served and those who died and these were re-dedicated and placed in a memorial garden in the centre of the village in 1988.

For more information on the Dervock War Memorial, visit this link:

Graves of John Meeke MM and Samuel Meeke

Private John Meeke MM

Located in Derrykeighan Old Church Graveyard. The graveyard is signposted in the village of Derrykeighan on the B66 Castlecat Road. Follow lane adjacent to ‘McKillop Motorcycles’ shop.

On 7 June 1917, the Battle of Messines began in Flanders, Belgium. On that day, Private John Meeke, of Benvarden, near Ballymoney, was serving as a stretcher bearer in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

During an intense artillery bombardment, Private Meeke heard a report that Major William Redmond of the Royal Irish Regiment was lying wounded. Redmond was an Irish MP with strong Irish Nationalist views; Meeke was an Orangeman and a soldier in the 36th (Ulster) Division. Back home in Ireland, they would have been bitter adversaries. However, on the battlefield, loyalties were different.

Using the shell craters as shelter, Private John Meeke ran across the battlefield to look for the injured officer. He quickly found Major Redmond and began to treat his wounds. As he worked, the battle raged around them and Private Meeke was twice hit by shrapnel. Despite his injuries, he continued to care for the Major until they were rescued and taken back to the safety of the British lines.

Tragically, Major Redmond died of his wounds. Private John Meeke recovered and was awarded the Military Medal for his gallantry. Meeke survived the war and returned home to Benvarden. On his death on 7 December 1923, he was buried in an unmarked family plot in Derrykeighan Old Graveyard beside his brother Samuel.

In 2004, local war historian, Robert Thompson, raised money by public subscription to erect a commemorative headstone in honour of John meeke’s courageous actions.

Private Samuel Meeke

John Meeke’s brother, Samuel, was captured on 21 March 1918 and sent to the notorious prison camp at Langensalza. At the camp he was forced to work in the sulphur mines, and was often badly treated. On his release after the Armistice, his health was so poor that he died a fortnight after arriving home.