Vc hero honoured
Service for local soldier Sergeant Carmichael
Sergeant John Carmichael was aged 24 and serving with the 9th Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment when he earned the Victoria Cross during World War I.
He was leading a working party clearing trenches at Hill 60 in Ypres in Belgium on September 8, 1917, when a grenade was accidentally dislodged and activated by one of his men.
The brave Glenmavis soldier prevented lifethreatening danger to his platoon by placing his steel helmet over the device and standing upon it, while telling them to clear the area.
He was blown out of the trench by the explosion, causing him serious injuries including breaking an arm and both legs – but he saved the lives of his troops, with no one else being injured.
Great-nephew Tom Carmichael said at the
ceremony: “To Sergeant Carmichael, these soldiers were his responsibility, and he shouldered that unwaveringly.
“Fortunately, Uncle John survived and was ultimately rewarded by having a long life well lived in the service of family, community and faith.
“He returned to Glenmavis to a tumultuous reception from the proud people of Airdrie, probably not just because of his act of heroism, but for the many who went and the few who returned.”
Sergeant Carmichael went on to establish a farm, and later founded Airdrie’s Highland Bus Company, even providing free Sunday transport for worshippers. He died in 1977. The tribute stone is part of a UK-wide project to honour the 628 WWI Victoria Cross recipients in their birthplaces to mark the centenary of their acts of gallantry.
ceremony Provost Jean Jones, depute lord lieutenant Abdul Abid and Neil Gray MP all laid wreaths at the unveiling event
special occasion The “wreath of respect” was among the tributes laid at the commemoration ceremony in Glenmavis
hero Sergeant John Carmichael was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravely saving his platoon from a grenade explosion
permanent tribute The commemorative stone is in the grounds of New Monkland Parish Church
Next generation Pupils from New Monkland Primary attended the ceremony and made displays about the local hero
Tribute A piper’s lament played as attendees remembered Sergeant Carmichael and his bravery as a soldier during World War I
Inspiring Displays by pupils at New Monkland Primary were on show at the church, along with heirlooms belonging to Sergeant Carmichael
Proud family Tom Carmichael, the soldier’s great-nephew, gave an address on his relative’s service and his life on returning from the war