New gravestone for MM winner is dedicated in poignant ceremony

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A short but dignified dedication service took place in 2nd Randalstown Presbyterian churchyard on Saturday, September 25 to mark the new headstone recently erected on the grave of of Edward Kidd MM.

Rifleman Edward Kidd from Randalstown served during the Great War initially enlisting in the 9th Battalion (West Belfast Volunteers) Royal Irish Rifles and then transferred to the 11th Battalion (South Antrim Volunteers) Royal Irish Rifles.

Edward deployed to France with the 36th Ulster Division and served with distinction until discharged on the 2nd March 1919.

A report of the action for which Rifleman Edward Kidd was awarded the Military Medal was described in a letter from Captain A.P.I. Samuels : - “ News has just come round that the 11th R.I.R. had a raid on the German trenches.

“One man above all others is mentioned as having killed six Germans and held on by himself throwing bombs at great length and was the last man to leave the German trenches : in fact, he covered the retreat of the party, and was especially mentioned for his coolness and bravery – Edward Kidd.

“It is the second time he has done this as he had greatly distinguished himself on the 1st of July”.

Edward Kidd was awarded the Military Medal in November 1916.

Alistair Kidd and Paul Rodgers would like to highly commend Eddie Sloan from East Antrim Memorials who produced the fine headstone.

Alistair and Paul would also like to thank everybody who contributed towards the cost of the headstone and to everybody who attended the service. They would like to extend a special thanks to Billy Smyth of the New Ladysmith Arms who provided food and refreshments after the service.

Also the Reverend Alan Moore for conducting the service and William from Omagh who piped at the event.

Jim McIlroy, Secretary of the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles Memorial Association presented Alistair Kidd with a World War 1 British soldier figurine on behalf of the Association.

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