Readers’ Letters

Poppy on Carluke war memorial '11/11/08'Picture by Lindsay Addison'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Poppy on Carluke war memorial '11/11/08'Picture by Lindsay Addison'Picture by Lindsay Addison

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines

Sergeant search

Dear Ed, – Three Belgian people are currently looking in Carluke and Wishaw area for family members and a picture of the RAF Sgt. Henry King, Service number 1025718, No. 405 (RCAF) Sqdn, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web site:

Sgt. King died in Awenne, Belgium, close to Saint-Hubert on August 10, 1943 with six Canadian airmen of the RCAF No. 405 Squadron. Their aircraft failed to return from an air mission on Mannheim. We know all the six Canadian airmen.

If you are familiar with the following information on Sgt. Henry King (Carluke and Wishaw area) or if you know a family member of Sgt. Henry King, please contact me asap.

Your info might be very helpful for us, and we will be very touched to contact you. Your contact is important to us. We want to associate family members of the airmen for a remembrance ceremony next september in Awenne and Saint-Hubert, Belgium.

Thank you for reviewing the following information: Sgt. Henry King was the son of James King and Harriet Crosbie Baxter, both from Wishaw. His grandfather was Henry King. He was a farmer. His grandmother was Ann King. His parents got married on November 1, 1913 in Glasgow. He was born in 1914. His father was a farmer and cattle dealer.

His father died on Mayfield Manse Road, Netherton on September 13, 1926. He was 43 years old. His mother died in 1968. She was 82 years old.

Sgt. Henry King got married on January 1, 1940 to Isabella Howitt, from Carluke. He had at least one uncle. His father’s brother’s name was Alexander King, from Wishaw (41 East Academy Street in 1926).

We found that his wife Isabella Howitt lived on Hozier Street in Carluke and had possibly a brother who died also during the Second World War. His name was William Iselin Howitt. He was the son of Thomas and Janet Noble Iselin Howitt; husband of Agnes Barr Millar Howitt, of Strathaven, Lanarkshire.

We noticed that Thomas and Janet Noble Iselin Howitt are the parents of Isabella Howitt as well. So, William Iselin and Isabella were highly probably brother and sister.

Sgt. King died on August 10, 1943 in Awenne and is buried in the Communal cemetery of Florennes, Belgium, next to the six Canadian airmen who were operating that day in the same mission on Mannheim. He died at the age of 29.

Thank you in advance for your help and support. Your help is important to us. You can reach me at – Yours etc.,



Cross with plans

Dear Ed, – Further to my letter of a few weeks ago regarding the refusal of South Lanarkshire Council to grant local residents a hearing at the Broken Cross extension planning meeting, I have had the opportunity to explore the matter further.

SLC said that Hawksland was not being discriminated against on the basis of its sparse population. I therefore posed the question that had a similar proposal been made in the vicinity of, say, Hamilton, and a similar level of objection been raised (more than 10,000 objections), would it also refuse to grant these people a hearing? SLC has yet to answer this question.

However, as the council claimed we were not being discriminated against, I can only conclude that this means it would have no interest in hearing the views of the hypothetical 10,000 – the council just does not want to say so.

I also put a request to Michael McGlynn, head of planning at SLC, that the council distribute the etymology of the word Lanark (it means “clear green place”) among planning staff and ask them to uphold those values in their decisions for the surrounding area. Mr McGlynn informed me that he could not see how that was relevant to his department.

When one also considers the comments of the Reporting Officer in application CL/11/0431 to erect a meteorological mast on top of the vast hill at Broken Cross which now rivals Tinto as the pre-eminent land feature in the area, where she stated that as a result of there being numerous masts, turbines and pylons already visible, it did not matter if more were added (a view which I would liken to dirty dishes in the sink in student block accommodation), a picture becomes clear.

SLC clearly regards South Lanarkshire as one gigantic industrial estate. I would urge readers to take action and let the powers that be in their concrete towers know that the people of South Lanarkshire will not be cowed by the council’s bullying, that we will not stand by and let it devastate our countryside and that we will take whatever action is necessary to bring it to book. – Yours etc.,



A gritty situation

Dear Ed, – I feel I should make people aware of the dangers of certain areas in housing estates not being gritted.

As you will be aware, icy roads can be very dangerous and lead to a lot of unnecessary accidents like the one which I recently had.

On my return home from work I was coming onto a junction in my estate, which sits on a slight hill. I was already driving very slowly due to the conditions; however the ice on the hill caused an accident between me and another driver.

My greatest concern is what would happen if there was a car sliding at a greater speed, unaware of the dangers of this hill? Or a person crossing the road at this point? Quite simply, they would be run down due to an unavoidable situation on the driver’s part.

I understand that it would not be possible to grit every estate. However, I believe areas which could cause accidents or are potentially dangerous should be gritted.

Another example of this is at the end of Wilton Road in Carluke. The junction is also on a hill and if someone was to slide down that they would be right out onto the main road! Worst case scenario could be a lorry oncoming, which is a possibility. Thanks to the lack of attention to our estates, there is a slight dent in my bank balance. Why? Because the council has not given proper attention to dangerous areas in our estates. – Yours etc.,


Larkspur Way,


Man for all times

Dear Ed, – After last month’s patriotic celebrations of Robert Burns’s life and works, it’s tempting to speculate what his thoughts or stance might be on the present referendum debate.

Compare, “To the British constitution on Revolution principles next after my God, I am most devoutly attached” (letter 1792/93 to R.GRAHAM) and “Be Briton still to Briton true” (Dumfries Volunteers 1795) with “Farewell to a’ our Scottish fame and ancient glory” ( 1707 Union).

A pragmatic poet perhaps? Irreconcilable? What about devo max or plus? Once again a man for all times. – Yours etc.,


Castle Yett,