Carluke VC recipients remembered

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has paid tribute to three Victoria Cross recipients who lived in a town known as “Courage”.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 10:45 am
Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, his wife Ruth and Thomas Caldwells relatives  George Reid, Joan Reid and Jeanette Johnston.
Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, his wife Ruth and Thomas Caldwells relatives George Reid, Joan Reid and Jeanette Johnston.

Rt Rev Colin Sinclair said it was a “privilege” to conduct a special Remembrance Service for William Angus, Thomas Caldwell and Donald Cameron in Carluke.

He laid a wreath at the war memorial in the town’s Market Square.

The Last Post was played as around 30 people, including local ministers and relatives of Thomas Caldwell, paid their respects.

Councillor Ian McAllan, Provost of South Lanarkshire, Lady Haughey, Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire, and Rev Bryan Kerr, Clerk to the Presbytery of Lanark, also laid wreaths.

William Angus and Thomas Caldwell were honoured for their gallantry in the face of the enemy during the First World War and Donald Cameron during the Second World War.

At that time, Carluke had a population of fewer than 8,000 residents which meant it had more recipients of Britain’s highest and most prestigious military honour per head of population than any other community.

Mr Sinclair said: “It was a privilege to conduct a Remembrance Service for the three men from Carluke who received the Victoria Cross. Their bravery in the face of extreme danger was extraordinary.”

Lance-Corporal William Angus of the 8th Royal Scots was awarded the Victoria Cross for rescuing a wounded officer in no-man’s land on 12 June 1915 at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, France. He received around 40 wounds including the loss of his left eye.

Sergeant Thomas Caldwell of the Royal Scots Fusiliers stormed a farmhouse near Audenarde in Belgium on 31 October 1918 and captured 18 men single-handed.

Donald Cameron, a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, used a midget submarine to carry out a stealth attack on the German battleship Tirpitz, in Norway on 22 September 1943.

He travelled over 1,000 miles through enemy territory to plant mines on the hull of the ship, successfully disabling it for months.

Businessman, Sir Angus Grossart, who grew up in Carluke, paid for special road signs that have been erected in memory of the three Victoria Cross recipients, who now also all have streets named after them.

A graphic representation of the three medals adorn the signs, which bear the words “Carluke, a town called Courage”.