A WAR hero has been honoured with the unveiling of a Victoria Cross paving stone – 100 years after his act of gallantry in WWI.

Lieutenant John Reginald Noble Graham, grew up in Darleith in Cardross and served in the 9th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

He and his machine gun section were seconded to the Machine Gun Corps serving in modern-day Iraq.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery in the Battle of Istabulat on April 22, 1917.

Lt Graham was in command of a machine gun section attached to a battalion of Infantry sepoys which came under heavy fire, causing many casualties. Although twice wounded, he continued during the advance and was able, with one gun, to return fire on the enemy who were massing for a counter-attack.

This gun was put out of action by the enemy’s rifle fire, and Lt Graham was wounded again. He then brought another gun into action and continued his attack on the enemy until all ammunition was used and he was wounded severely.

His valour and skilful handling of his guns held up a strong counter-attack which threatened to roll up the left flank of the Brigade, and averted what might have become a critical situation.

Commemorative VC paving stones are being laid in towns across the country to honour those who earned the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Lt Graham died in 1980 and his VC is held at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum in Stirling.

He is one of two WW1 Victoria Cross recipients from Cardross to be honoured by the installation of a memorial stone; the second, in memory of Colonel George Findlay, will be installed at the family’s home at Drumfork House in Helensburgh.

The commemorative stone for Lieutenant Graham was unveiled at Cardross War Memorial by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Dunbartonshire, Rear Admiral Michael Gregory OBE.

Rear Admiral Gregory said: “Laying this paving stone is an opportunity to remember Lieutenant Graham, and what he endured and achieved for his country.

“Lt Graham showed remarkable courage and determination in situations no-one would wish to experience. It is important that people know their local heroes and the impact the war had on their local community.”

Lt Graham’s son and other members of his family family were also present including Lieutenant General Andrew Graham, his grandson.

Lieutenant General Andrew Graham said: “While this unveiling ceremony recalls grandpa’s brave actions 100 years ago this stone also commemorates the men of his Argyll section of 136 Machine Gun Company, all of whom were wounded on this day in 1917, and a number of whom were killed in action. He would say it was a team effort, and urge us not to forget them.”

Argyll and Bute MP and SNP spokesman on defence, Brendan O’Hara, was invited along to the unveiling and considered it “a great honour”.

He said: “The unveiling of the plaque to Lt. Reginald Graham VC, of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and the Machine Gun Corps, shows that even 100 years on, we quite rightly honour the valour of those who fought and remember those who fell.

“It was a particularly special event for me personally as my grandfather also served in the Machine Gun Corp as well as the Highland Light Infantry during WWI. I was already aware of the heroic story of Lt. Graham but it was great to be able to spend some time with son, his grandson and great-grandson on Saturday, hearing the inside story of what happened at Istabulat.

“We have agreed to keep in touch to see if we can discover if my grandfather and Lt. Graham crossed paths during their service.”