Museum Services given grant aid for WWI project

William Frederick McFadzean.
William Frederick McFadzean.

Craigavon Borough Council’s Museum Services has secured a vital grant of £24,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to undertake a ‘Living with WW1’ project.

Forming part of the Council’s World War 1 centenary commemorations, the project will examine life in the Borough during 1910-1918, through a wide range of activities involving community groups, schools and volunteers.

At the heart of the project will be an exhibition which will explore the impact the war had on the local area as well as the sacrifice of those who departed for the front, such as Private William Frederick McFadzean (pictured) from Lurgan, who lost his life at the Battle of the Somme on 1st July, 1916.

McFadzean was among a group of bombers preparing grenades in the Thiepval wood for the attack to come.

However, a box of grenades slipped from the pile and crashed onto the ground.

The pins from two grenades fell out, and for a split second, everyone in the packed trench froze – all except McFadzean, who threw himself on top of them.

He was killed instantly, but his act of courage meant that all of his colleagues, but one escaped without serious injury.

For this action, William McFadzean was awarded the Victoria Cross.

In addition, the Museum’s ‘A Taste of World War 1’ education programme will explore the culinary life of the period, while the musical soundtrack of the era will be brought to life via open concert performances. An extensive autumn/winter lecture programme will also provide a detailed examination of World War 1 and its effects on the area.

Commenting on the HLF award, Mr David Weir, Curator of the Craigavon Museum Services said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, which will allow us to fittingly commemorate the efforts of both local civilians and servicemen to the war.”

The Museum would encourage anyone who may have objects or stories which they would like to feature in the exhibition to contact them at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on (028) 3832 2205 or via e-mail at