On the 1st July 1916 the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles were in the front line trenches of the Somme, in front of Thiepval Wood; their objective was up the hill to the deep defensive lines of the Schwaben Redoubt. At 7.30 the Battalion, as part of a huge British attack of 150,000 men began the greatest assault in history. By nightfall, with little gained, over 57,000 had been killed or wounded.
Robert Quigg was recommended for the Victoria Cross, which was gazetted on 9 September 1916. His citation reads as follows:
"For most conspicuous bravery. He advanced to the assault with his platoon three times. Early next morning, hearing a rumour that his platoon officer was lying wounded, he went out seven times to look for him, under heavy shell and machine-gun fire, each time bringing back a wounded man. The last man he dragged on a waterproof sheet from within yards of the enemy's wire. He was seven hours engaged in this most gallant work, and was finally so exhausted that he had to give it up."
The body of the platoon officer, Sir Harry Macnaghten was never found and was posted 'missing believed killed', but five of the seven rescued men survived. Robert Quigg received his Victoria Cross from King George V at York Cottage on the Sandringham Estate on 8 January 1917.