War hero Gerrard dies at age of 99

Gerrard Paterson helped sink Bismark.
Gerrard Paterson helped sink Bismark.

A World War 2 hero from Bellshill has passed away at the age of 99.

Gerrard Paterson died at Parksprings Care Home in Motherwell just six months before his 100th birthday.

Two years ago he received the Ushakov Medal from the Russian Federation to mark his courage with the Arctic Convoys during the war.

Gerrard was also involved in the sinking of the powerful German battleship Bismark.

Born in Poland, he served in the Polish and French armies before signing up with the British Navy.

On the British destroyer ORP Piorun, which was manned by Polish sailors, he saw action on convoys from America and Canada to Britain, convoys to Malta and during the Allied landings in Italy and the D-Day landings in Normandy

Gerrard was awarded 16 medals for bravery, the most recent being presented in 2015 by Russia’s Consul General at a ceremony in Glasgow “paying tribute to those who defended our country and liberated Europe from Nazism”.

After the war he worked in the Clyde Alloy Steel Works in Craigneuk

Gerrard was married for 64 years to Ellen who died in 2007. He lived his final years at Unitas Court sheltered housing complex in Mossend

He is survived by his daughter, two sons, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Son Michael said: “He enjoyed a long eventful life and was an inspiration to everyone who met him.”