VC plaques will go on War Memorial

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THE FINAL chapter in the saga of the plaques commemorating the valour of Carnoustie’s two Victoria Cross winners in the First World War seems to have begun.

Following various delays, failed attempts and discussions about the placing of the plaques, the Carnoustie branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland has identified suitable spaces within the War Memorial.

Alterations to the actual plaques will need to be made as the originals were specific to Jarvis Place and Samson Place and it is anticipated they will be ready for rededication in the summer of this year.

Councillor Helen Oswald said: “I am delighted that a final decision has been made about the location of these plaques. This will allow arrangements to be set in motion for a rededication service.

“Although there have been considerable delays in the refurbishment and relocation of the plaques, it seems that the final decision is one that meets with universal approval.

“Additionally, I have had it confirmed that additional street signage will be erected in Jarvis Place and Samson Place identifying that these streets were named in honour of these two very brave Carnoustie men.

“I believe that acts of extraordinary heroism by ordinary people should be commemorated and now that the plaques are to be re-located it is fitting that the streets named in their honour should be identified as such.”

Charles Alfred Jarvis VC was 33 years old and a lance-corporal in the 57th Field Company, Royal Engineers, when he was awarded the first Victoria Cross of the First World War.

Only three weeks into the conflict on August 23, 1914, at Jemappes, Belgium, Lance-Corporal Jarvis worked for one-and-a-half hours under heavy fire in full view of the enemy and finally succeeded in firing charges for the demolition of a bridge. He was wounded in the process.

In 1915 he returned to Britain and was presented with his medal at Buckingham Palace. He was later promoted to second corporal and corporal before being discharged from the Army in 1917.

He went on to work at the Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth.

George McKenzie Samson VC was 26 years old and a seaman in the Royal Naval Reserve during the First World War.

On April 25, 1915, during the landing at V Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Seaman Samson, with three other men was assisting the commander of their ship HMS River Clyde at the work of securing the lighters. He worked all day under very heavy fire, attending wounded and getting out lines. He was eventually dangerously wounded by Maxim fire.

He later achieved the rank of petty officer and rejoined the Merchant Navy after the war. His VC is in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum in London.