Story of Newmills war hero to be told with new App

Newmills war hero Private Robert Morrow VC
Newmills war hero Private Robert Morrow VC

THE story of a soldier from Newmills who was honoured for his bravery during the First World War, is to be brought into the 21st Century thanks to a new interactive history project earmarked for the village.

Aged just 23, Private Robert Morrow rescued and carried to safety several men who had been buried in the debris of trenches wrecked by shell fire near Messines, Belgium, on April 12, 1915.

For his bravery, the Newmills born soldier, a Private in the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Fusiliers, was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Now the story of Private Morrow’s heroism on the field of battle, as well as the history of the Morrow family in Newmills, are set to be made available through an interactive App for smart phones and tablets, according to local UUP councillor, Kenneth Reid.

Cllr Reid explained moves are underway to install a commemorative plaque to the local war hero on the Cenotaph in the centre of the village, adding: “Private Robert Morrow’s plaque will be the first one of eight in Northern Ireland to get that.”

Cllr Reid also told the TIMES that Dungannon Council is continuing to lobby Roads Service for gateway signs to be erected in Newmills as the birthplace of Private Morrow.

“The same thing was done in 2011 when Darren Clarke was given the Freedom of the Borough”, said Cllr Reid, “so I can’t see why it couldn’t be done in the case of Private Morrow. This was a horrific war, with a massive loss of life, and we are trying to tell that story, along with the story of Private Morrow as an individual and that of his mother and the local community.”