Memorial Plaque Unveiling at Armadale commemorating William Angus VC of the 8th Bn Highland Light Infantry. Photos courtesy of Dan and Jimmy.
William Angus VC 8th
(Lanark) Bn Highland Light Infantry
William Angus was born at Polkemmet Rows, Cappers, Armadale. After leaving school he was employed as a miner but was able to find himself a place as a professional footballer at Celtic FC where he made only one appearance in the first team. Released in 1914, he joined Wishaw Thistle, the club he was captaining when war was declared in August. As a member of local Territorial battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, he was mobilised immediately.
First World War
Early in 1915 his HLI company was attached to the 8th Royal Scots, the first Territorial battalion to join the Expeditionary Force. 8th Royal Scots had suffered a great many casualties and were in urgent need of replacements. He was serving as a lance-corporal in this battalion when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
On 12 June 1915 at Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée, France, Lance-Corporal Angus voluntarily left his trench under very heavy bomb and rifle fire and rescued a wounded officer Lt. James Martin HLI, who was lying within a few yards of the enemy's position. The lance-corporal had no chance of escaping the enemy's fire when undertaking this gallant deed, and in effecting the rescue he received about 40 wounds, some of them being very serious.
William Angus with Lt. James Martin, The Officer from his HLI Bn that he saved. The two men remained in contact for the rest of their lives.
After the rescue he was taken to a military hospital in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he learned of his award of the Victoria Cross. After 2 months in hospital he returned to London where he was given the Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 30 August 1915.
After he had returned to Carluke, he was given a hero's welcome and became president of Carluke Rovers FC a position he held until his death in 1959. He is buried at Wilton Cemetery, in Carluke. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National War Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.