Monday, 13 December 2010

Carnoustie's First World War heroes honoured

Seems today is a busy day for news!

From The Courier:

Angus councillors have hailed a roll of honour to commemorate Carnoustie's war heroes, displayed in the burgh's library.

After a lot of painstaking research, Maureen Fleming — a member of the library staff — has compiled detailed information on all 142 of those who gave their lives.

These albums and the story of Carnoustie's war memorial are the centrepiece of an exhibition at the library.

Councillor Jim Millar, who is convener of cultural services, said, "As an army veteran myself, I welcome the display of the roll of honour commemorating those from Carnoustie who lost their lives in the First World War.

"I am sure that the Great War exhibition will be of interest to everyone who either had a relative who served in the Great War or who is interested in local history, and I encourage people to visit Carnoustie Library while this display is on show."

Carnoustie has never had its own roll of honour of those who fell in the First World War.

As well as contemporary photographs of the town, the full story of Carnoustie's two Victoria Cross recipients — George Samson and Charles Jarvis — is also told.

Carnoustie councillor Peter Murphy said, "I think it gives an identity to the area in regard to what the people in those days experienced — both in the war and on the home front.

"It balances the two, which I think is excellent. There is even — I noticed from the newspaper cuttings — letters from conscientious objectors, so not everybody was exactly for the war.

"There's a special book recording people who lost their lives, which is comprehensive — and particularly of interest, of course, are the two Carnoustie VCs.

Town's Role

"I think the exhibition is of strong community interest and acknowledgement of the role the people of Carnoustie played. We can never overstate the loss and sacrifice those people made.

"The permanent thing in Carnoustie is the wonderful war memorial, which is one of the most attractive in terms of its design in Scotland. I think that is always a reminder to people of Carnoustie's role in the war."

Lance Corporal Jarvis of the Royal Engineers, was a resident of Carnoustie from 1889 until he joined the army in 1899. He was one of five men awarded the medal three weeks after the outbreak of the First World War, for his role in destroying a bridge under heavy fire during the Battle of Mons in 1914.

Petty Officer George Samson of the Royal Naval Reserve was born in Carnoustie in 1889 and was awarded the medal for multiple acts of gallantry during the landings at Gallipoli in 1915, during which he rescued a number of his colleagues and treated their injuries under fire before himself being hit by machine gun fire, sustaining 19 bullet wounds. His medals were sold for £247,000 to Lord Ashcroft at auction in 2007.

There are also exhibits from Angus museums on show and The Black Watch Regimental Museum in Perth has also loaned items for display. DC Thomson has also contributed art prints for a war comics' display.

The free exhibition runs until 22nd January.

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