The Local Heroes competition is a project that has taken place annually for the last five years. The aim of the competition is for teams to select someone from their local area or from Northern Ireland in general who played a part in World War One and to research that person and the role that they played. The Cullybackey teams did exceptionally well, coming first and second in the Army Cadet Force category. The cadets focused their research on war records of Lance Corporal James F Wallace and The Reverend Horace Crawford Townsend, both from the Mid and East Antrim area.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “I am delighted to welcome the cadets from Cullybackey to the Mayor’s Parlour following their success in the Local Heroes competition.
“It is excellent to see all of these young cadets excelling in such a prestigious competition. It shows their dedication and commitment to their individual roles and working as part of a team in order to deliver successful results.”
Cadet Lance Corporal Jack MeGrath (14), a pupil at Cullybackey College, said: “Working on the Local Heroes project gave a whole new dimension to history lessons and it was an interesting and valuable challenge for us – a bit less adventurous than the majority of cadet exercises, but something that we will always remember.”
Staff Sergeant Amanda Roxborough, an adult volunteer from the Cullybackey Detachment of the Army Cadet Force, was greatly impressed by the hard work and dedication that the cadets put into their research project.
“The Army Cadets offers fantastic opportunities for young people to learn new skills and to stretch themselves, but it is so rewarding to see just how much enthusiasm and energy the cadets themselves put into the activities that they get involved in. The Cullybackey cadets threw themselves into their research projects and they were really moved by the stories that they uncovered.”