Forgotten WW1 heroes should be remembered

Soldiers carry an injured comrade during the First World War's battle of Passchendaele
Soldiers carry an injured comrade during the First World War's battle of Passchendaele

An elder at Viewpark Parish Church is pushing for the town to have its own war memorial.

As the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War One arrives later this year Alasdair Fergus is trying to compile a list of all the local men who went off to fight.

He said: “This project originated from three war memorials that exist in Viewpark Parish Church, that used to be known as Thorniewood Mission.

“Originally it was an off-shoot from Park UF Church in Uddingston, but became independent and over time united with Bothwell Park UF Church and Aitkenhead UF Church.

“The three churches had their own memorials, two of which are fixed to the south wall of the church and the third from Aitkenhead Church is a rather scrappy paper one in a cheap frame.

“In my research with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, The Scottish National War Memorial and the National Archives in Kew it appears a lot of men from Tannochside, Viewpark and Bothwellpark area who served are not included in any of the church memorials nor the war memorials in either Bellshill or Uddingston.

“This I believe can be rectified and the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities of the First World War would be a fitting time to remember those who died to defend this country and our freedoms, but have not so far been recognised in the very community from which they came.”

Alasdair has so far uncovered hundreds of potential names and has also found out there was rolls of honour for Bellshill Academy former pupils and one made up by staff of the former Bellshill Theatre that included photos of all or most of the soldiers who went to serve.

The theatre’s roll of honour featuring some 300 names was published in the Speaker in April 1915, but Alasdair is hopeful of finding the physical rolls.

He said: “Where either of these are or if they still exist remains a mystery, they would be a real treasure trove if they were to turn up, maybe someone out there has them.

“I’d also like to hear from other genealogists who have uncovered local men who fought in the war, I’m sure there will be some of the same names I have uncovered, but I suspect there will be many more I have yet to identify.”

To get in touch with Alasdair email alasdair.fergus17@gmail.com.