William Angus (VC)

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Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table. Script error: The module returned a value. It is supposed to return an export table. William Angus VC (28 February 1888 – 14 June 1959), also known as Willie Angus, was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life[edit]

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[edit]

Early in 1915 his HLI company was transferred 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.

Victoria Cross[edit]

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 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.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

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.[2]

William Angus's grave

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 at Lair 36. Section O. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National War Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

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