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Memorial to VC heroes by end of the year

A new memorial to honour Lanarkshire’s 14 winners of the Victoria Cross is set to be built by the end of this year – thanks to generous readers who’ve backed a Hamilton Advertiser appeal.

The paper wants to put up a “substantial” memorial to those whose bravery could be forgotten through time.

Their exploits have already been immortalised by artist Duncan Brown in a series of his paintings, which were displayed for several months in Motherwell Library.

As well as financial support from the public the idea is being backed by local business with the Co-operative Funeral and Memorial Services in Hamilton agreeing to craft the memorial from granite once a design has been finalised.

A prominent location in Hamilton is being sought and could be revealed soon in the Advertiser. Readers are still sending in their cash – the latest donations coming from the British Legion and a Larkhall couple.

The paper told locals this week: “We thank every reader who has sent in a donation, no matter how small and we urge other readers to send in a contribution.”

In recent editions, the Advertiser has taken a look at the extraordinary heroism of every VC holder.

In the final feature, the paper looked at Sergeant John Brown Hamilton, who was a lance corporal when he won Britain’s highest military honour.

“John Hamilton, from Cambuslang, joined the 9th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry during World War One at the age of 21.

“He was fighting in Belgium in 1917 when his regiment came under incredible fire from the enemy and were pinned down in trenches for so long that many of the soldiers ran out of ammunition.

“Lance Corporal Hamilton risked his own life on several occasions to save the lives of his trapped comrades, running up and down the front trenches, taking bandoliers of ammunition to the men.

“Lance Corporal Hamilton became a sergeant shortly after winning the VC. When he left the army, he returned to Lanarkshire and settled in East Kilbride, where he died in 1973.”

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