Cald­well set to be hon­oured Bless­ing forvc win­ner

Wishaw Press - - HERO TRIBUTE - Ross Thom­son

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

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