Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ramage hunts for hero's war medals

An article by Ross Thomnson which appeared in the Carluke and Lanark Gazette this week. An interesting tale of a highly decorated man. Strangely the article makes no mention of the Croix de Guerre which Ramage is listed as having won on the St John's United Free Church roll of honour. In addition to this memorial he is also listed on the Carluke memorial as well as being commemorated on the Menin Gate.

A Carluke man is searching for the medals won by a WW1 hero he was named after.

Ramage Kelly, 76, who now lives in Motherwell, is interested in sourcing the medals of hero Arthur Ramage, who was killed in 1917.

Ramage is rightly proud of his namesake and has been left wondering where his war medals, of which there are many, ended up.

He said: "I was watching the TV one afternoon and there was a man showing off medals that had been won during the war. It got me to thinking about what happened to the medals won by Arthur Ramage.

"I know that when I was growing up in Carluke the medals were held by the Toc H Organisation, which met in Ramage House, next to St Andrews Church, but that was torn down in the 1950s I believe.

"It wouldbe nice if someone in the area has the medals.

"When I was growing up he was always talked about warmly, especially after what he achieved."

Arthur Ramage was born in Chapel Street, Carluke, in January 1892.

Prior to the war he resided with his aunt in Chapel Street.

He served with the local Territorials (12th HLI) before setting off for France in 1915.

On September 25 of that year, at the Battle of Loos, he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery after rescuing several severely wounded soldiers.

For saving the life of his officer while under a hail of enemy fire, a Bar was added on October 31, 1916.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was awarded to him on July 15 1917 for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the reconnaisance of a farm, held by the Germans. Arthur had volunteered and made a reconnaisance to a farm, which was held by the enemy.

He succeeded in reaching the enemy trenches which were held in some strength.

However, while returning from yet another successful engagement, on 1st August 1917, he was shot by a sniper's bullet and was killed. He was just 25 years old.

Arthur is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres and was one of the most decorated soldiers of WW1.

Carluke named four streets after its war heroes. Three of them were for Victoria Cross winners - William Angus, Donald Cameron and Thomas Caldwell - and the other was Arthur Ramage.

Many locals over the years have said that the reason Ramage Road was the longest of the three was because Arthur was held in such regard.

It was felt that he should have been awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery.

Christine Warren, from Carluke Historical Society, said: "Arthur Ramage is a big part of the history of Carluke and is often talked about in the same vein as our three VC winners.

"He had a highly distinguished military career".

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