New Zealand war hero’s Carrick roots honoured

The James Crichton commemorative jewel. INCT 24-751-CON
The James Crichton commemorative jewel. INCT 24-751-CON

A Carrickfergus soldier awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in the First World War has been recognised by the Orange Institution.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland launched a commemorative jewel in tribute to James Crichton, at a recent event in the town.

A plaque was unveiled at Woodburn in 2007 in honour of Private Crichton. Ct17-035tc

A plaque was unveiled at Woodburn in 2007 in honour of Private Crichton. Ct17-035tc

Private Crichton, who was born in Carrickfergus in 1879, served in the British Army before emigrating to New Zealand. He joined the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force when the First World War broke out and served in Gallipoli then France.

An Orangeman, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour on 30 September 1918 in Crevecoeur, France.

Dr David Hume, Grand Lodge director of Services, said: “This jewel was launched in Carrickfergus and Bellshill outside Glasgow to symbolise the connection James Crichton had with Ulster and Scotland.

“He is one of a number of Orangemen who were highly decorated during the First World War and I know that the members who wear his medal will do so with pride, no doubt many of them will be from Carrickfergus.”

Full story in this week’s Carrick Times on sale Wednesday, June 17.