Memorial for Motherwell VC man who died in suicidal attack

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An inscribed paving stone will be the understated but permanent reminder of a Motherwell man awarded Britain’s highest military honour.

William Clamp was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his virtually suicidal attack on machine gun positions based in concrete blockhouses during the Great War battle of Poelcapelle in Belgium on October 9, 1917.

Now the council are trying to trace any of his relatives, as part of the preparations for an official ceremony marking a century since his death in combat.

The 25-year-old corporal from 6th battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was in an advance party stalled by heavy enemy fire when he attacked and killed several enemy soldiers by lobbing grenades through the blockhouse embrasures.

Despite heavy fire from German snipers he entered the fortified position and brought out a machine gun and about 20 prisoners - then was shot dead by a sniper when he returned to the attack.

The authority is also seeking relatives of Airdrie man John Carmichael. who died as recently as 1977.

Sergeant Carmichael saved comrades by covering an enemy grenade with his steel helmet then standing on top of it - a heroic act which cost him serious injuries.

The council is paying for the installation and maintenance of the commemorative paving stones, which are being provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Relatives of both men are asked to phone 01698 302324 or email memberservices@northlan.gov.uk