Rifleman William McFadzean 1895-1916
Rifleman in the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, William McFadzean was a Belfastian war hero of conspicuous bravery and unwavering courage.
McFadzean was awarded the Victoria Cross for an act of bravery that saved many of his fellow soldiers but cost him his life in the trenches of World War I.
McFadzean died at the Battle of Somme when a box of hand grenades slipped in a trench during preparations. Two safety pins dislodged but McFadzean threw himself on top of the box, killing himself to save many others from being killed or badly wounded from the blast. Only one other soldier was injured.
McFadzean's father was presented his son's Victoria Cross in 1917 by George V at Buckingham Palace.
McFadzean's Victoria Cross is now displayed at The Royal Ulster Rifles Museum in Belfast.
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