Vc hero hon­oured

Ser­vice for lo­cal sol­dier Sergeant Carmichael

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Front Page -

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

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