Saturday, 13 November 2010

A slice of the VC pie

There's something about a Victoria Cross. Everyone knows it is something special and the people who have been awarded them are a cut above the rest of us. In recent years this seems to have led to a determination in some local communities to recognise their local V.C.s.

Recently a second V.C. memorial was unveiled in Glasgow. In 2007 a memorial was erected near the Cathedral to all of Glasgow's Victoria Cross recipients but the most recent one is specifically to three men from Bridgeton who were awarded it. One of the men, Piper James Richardson, is also commemorated on the Lanarkshire V.C. Memorial because he was born in Bellshill. Richardson is again commemorated with a statue in Chilliwack, British Columbia because his family had left Glasgow for Canada in 1911.

Bridgeton, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Chilliwack; they all want a piece of the aura that surrounds the memory of James Richardson V.C. and who can blame them. Even amongst Victoria Cross lore there is something special about James Richardson's story. Not just his life and selfless death, but also the fact his pipes lay unrecognised for years in a Scottish school.

An American filmmaker wants a piece of the Richardson V.C. pie now too. He has started production on a television documentary on Richardson V.C. Modern historical documentaries insist on reconstructions using actors. I wonder if the television Richardson will be a strapping Canadian frontiersman or a wee Glasgow Keelie?

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