Caldwell set to be honoured Blessing forvc winner
One of Carluke’s Vi c t o r i a C r o s s winners will be honoured today – exactly 100 years after his heroic deed.
The bravery of Sgt Thomas Caldwell will be marked by the blessing of a memorial stone in his home town.
The date marks the centenary of the battle of Audenarde, shortly before the end of the Great War, in which Sgt Caldwell’s leadership helped overcome enemy forces in the fields of Belgium, and for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Almost 50 years since his death, aged 74 in 1969, South Lanarkshire Provost Ian Mcallan, together with local community groups, schools and church and military personnel will join with members of Sgt Caldwell’s extended family – including a grandson travelling from Hong Kong – to pay a lasting tribute.
Caldwell was just 24, and a sergeant in the 12th (Ayr & Lanark Yeomanry) Battalion, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, when the deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
The VC citation reads: “For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack near Audenarde on the 31st October 1918 near Audenarde, Belgium, when in command of a Lewis gun section engaged in clearing a farmhouse.
“When his section came under intense fire at close range from another farm, Sgt Caldwell rushed towards the farm, and, in spite of very heavy fire, reached the enemy position, which he captured single-handed, together with 18 prisoners.
“This gallant and determined exploit removed a serious obstacle from the line of advance, saved many casualties, and led to the capture by his section of about 70 prisoners, eight machine guns and one trench mortar.”
Sgt Caldwell is one of three VC winners from Carluke with World War One hero Lance-corporal Willie Angus and Royal Navy Lieutenant Donald Cameron who received his gallant gong during World War Two.
The memorial stone will be unveiled today (Wednesday) at 11am in Carluke’s Market Square.
For most conspicuous bravery and initiative