New memorial for Samson VC

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A Carnoustie man is to be honoured with a new monument a century after his actions at Gallipoli earned him a Victoria Cross.

Petty Officer George Samson RN VC will have a new paving stone dedicated to his bravery during World War One at a special ceremony in front of the Carnoustie Golf Pro Centre on Saturday, April 25.

George Samson was born in Carnoustie on January 7, 1889, and at the start of the Gallipoli campaign the ship he was serving on the SS Clyde was commandeered as a troopship for 2,000 British soldiers to be landed at V Beach on April 25, 1915. All did not go to plan and Samson and his comrades worked under heavy fire to try and complete the landing and rescue the wounded.

His official citation read: “At Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915 Samson was on board River Clyde, a tramp steamer that was attempting to land 2,000 troops onto V Beach, when lighters forming the bridge between the steamer and the shore began to drift apart. Under fierce machine gun fire, he busied himself among the wounded and offered assistance to those repairing the bridge. He was hit over and over again, and when he returned to England, his body still contained a dozen pieces of shrapnel.”

It follows the dedication of an identical paving stone last year to honour the courage of Lance Corporal Charles Jarvis VC who was awarded the medal for his actions at Jemappes in August 1914.

The public are invited to attend the dedication ceremony which is scheduled for 2 for 2.30 p.m.

Kirsty MacDonald, one of the organisers of the event said: “He served in the Royal Naval Reserve during World War One and received his VC after his actions at Gallipoli where he worked all day with four others while under heavy fire.

“He achieved the rank of petty officer and after the war rejoined the Merchant Navy. On returning to Carnoustie the town turned out in force to honour their hero.”

George married in December 1915 and had two sons and a daughter. One of his sons aged 97 is currently living in Muir of Ord and it is hoped that he will be able to attend along with about 20 other relatives

Kirsty continued: “Sadly George died of pneumonia on February 28, 1923, after being put ashore in Bermuda where he is buried. Deputy Lord Lieutenant Dr Sandy and Mrs McKendrick at their own expense are to visit Bermuda on April 25 and present the residents with a plaque from The Royal British Legion, Carnoustie Branch to mark the centenary of George Samson’s award.”