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courage 8

One of the signs which went up this month.

Have you seen the new road signs erected this month on the main roads on the way into Carluke?

Their message, Carluke a Town Called Courage, commemorates the fact that no fewer than three of her sons won the Victoria Cross.

William Angus and Thomas Caldwell were awarded their VCs in the First World War, and Donald Cameron received his in the second.

The signs have been gifted to the town by Scottish businessman Sir Angus Grossart, who was brought up in Carluke, and whose grandfather Thomas Grossart addressed the townspeople when the Armistice was declared almost a century ago on November 11 1918, hoping the nation would never forget the bravery of those who had served.

I was delighted to help Angus Grossart with this commemoration of these brave men.

Corporal William Angus was a professional football player at Carluke FC in his younger days, and played for Wishaw when war was declared. He was serving with the 8th Royal Scots in France in June 1915 when he left his trench and travelled under fire through no-man’s land, to rescue an injured officer, fellow Carluke man Lieutenant James Martin. Corporal Angus received some 40 wounds, including the loss of his left eye. He returned to a hero’s welcome in Carluke, where he started a business as a goods carrier after the war.

Thomas Caldwell was a sergeant in the 12th (Ayr and Lanark Yeomanry) Battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, when under intense fire he rushed forward and single-handedly captured an enemy position at a farm in Belgium, leading to his section capturing machine guns and a trench mortar as well as prisoners.

Donald Cameron served in the Merchant Navy but in September 1943 was a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve commanding a Midget submarine when he with another lieutenant carried out a daring attack on the German battleship Tirpitz at its anchorage in a Norwegian Fjord, penetrating an enemy minefield, placing charges and putting the battleship out of action for months.

Three streets in Carluke were named after the VC recipients, and a stone in the Market Place recognises their heroism. Now the Town called Courage signs welcome visitors on the main approaches to Carluke, and, remind local people of the amazing courage shown by those who inhabited this little town in the darkest days of our history.

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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