Centenarian shares roll of honour book for those who fought in First World War

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A centenarian has shared images of a roll of honour book which includes five of her relations who fought in the First World War.

The book was created by Reverend Andrew Hunter, minister of Kirkton United Free Church in Carluke, South Lanarkshire, who served alongside the troops in France from August to October 1915 and survived.

He compiled the roll to honour the courage of the 123 men from the church who served, 23 of whom did not survive.

Carluke, dubbed the “town called courage”, is the birthplace of three men who were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) and businessman Sir Angus Grossart has gifted road signs in honour of the men, who all have streets named after them.

Roll of Honour
Copies of photographs in the book are displayed in a frame in the church balcony (Church of Scotland/PA)

Wilson, Andrew and William Brooks were brothers – and Ms Stewart’s uncles – and Alexander and Robert Brooks were her cousins.

Ms Stewart, who has been a member of what is now Kirkton Church of Scotland all her life, said her prized copy was gifted to her uncle Andrew “in recognition of his service in the Great War”.

Reverend Iain Cunningham, minister of Kirkton Church, said: “The book produced at the end of the First World War is a thoughtful and respectful memorial to the 123 young men from Kirkton who answered the call to serve.

“Sadly, 23 of them did not return and nine received distinguished military honours.

“There can be no doubting the immense courage demonstrated by the people of Carluke, especially by so many young men during those years of conflict.

“Nor should we ever underestimate the enormous price that was paid by the whole community, not only in loss of life, but also in long-term injury, pain and grief.”

Roll of Honour
The book was created by Reverend Andrew Hunter, who survived the First World War (Church of Scotland/PA)

In his foreword to the book, Rev Hunter wrote: “The true and lasting peace which the world so sorely needs is not to be secured by force of arms.”

William Angus and Thomas Caldwell were awarded the VC during the First World War and Donald Cameron during the Second World War.

Sir Angus, who grew up in Carluke, has also sponsored a “map of honour”, which is based on a 1912 map of Carluke, which is hosting a Remembrance Day parade this year.

It shows where the three VCs lived and a black dot represents each man who was killed, a red dot to represent each man who returned with physical wounds and a blue dot for those who served and returned with no physical wounds.

A total of 225 men from Carluke died during the First World War.

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