Jutland VC hero Barry Bingham honoured at Bangor event

Rory Campbell, grandson of Barry Bingham, speaks at the event
Rory Campbell, grandson of Barry Bingham, speaks at the event

A special event has taken place in Bangor to commemorate the life of Victoria Cross recipient Rear-Admiral Barry Bingham.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Jutland, the huge engagement between the British and German navies in May 1916.

Barry was born and lived in what is now Bangor Town Hall and was honoured on Wednesday by the unveiling of a memorial stone and historical plaque at Bangor Castle.

The event marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Barry’s grandsons were present at the event, which saw a flotilla arrive at the Eisenhower Pier in Bangor, after which dignitaries made their way to the castle for the ceremony.

One grandson, Rory Campbell, 64 who lives in south Wicklow, said: “Our grandfather, from what I see, was a local hero.

“The weather was beautiful – couldn’t have been better. It was a remarkable gathering; very special, I thought.”

Of four VCs awarded for that battle, Bingham, who died in 1939, was the only Ulsterman or even Irishman so honoured.

He was also the only VC winner to survive the battle.

North Down Borough Council purchased Barry’s Victoria Cross when it came up for auction at Sothebys.

Thanks to Heritage Lottery funding, the Victoria Cross is back on display in a new gallery in North Down Museum after a period of 10 years in the museum stores.

The gallery, which opened on Wednesday, explores Barry’s life and other local men’s experiences of the First World War.

The Battle of Jutland’s only surviving warship, HMS Caroline, opened to the public in Belfast on Tuesday for educational purposes.