COLONEL George Findlay, whose wartime bravery won him the Victoria Cross a hundred years ago, is not the only man with Helensburgh connections who won the country’s highest award for military gallantry during the First World War.

In fact, one Victoria Cross memorial stone has already been unveiled in the area – to Lieutenant John Reginald Noble Graham.

Like Colonel Findlay, the memorial to Lt Graham, who later rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, was unveiled 100 years to the day since the act of bravery which won him a VC.

Community and military representatives gathered in Cardross in April last year for a ceremony to mark the stone’s installation at the village’s war memorial.

Lt Graham was awarded the VC in recognition of his bravery in the Battle of Istabulat on April 22, 1917.

In command of a machine gun section which came under heavy fire in Iraq, he was twice wounded, but continued on 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.

The Cardross war memorial also includes the name of another VC recipient – Lt Col William Herbert Anderson of the 12th Bn., Highland Light Infantry – known to all as Bertie.

He died on March 25, 1918 at the age of 36, and was awarded the VC for his gallantry that day at Bois Favieres, near Maricourt in the Somme valley, where he led two counter-charges against German forces in the space of a single day.

The citation stated that ‘Bertie’ won his posthumous VC “for most conspicuous bravery, determination, and gallant leading of his command”.

It continued: “The enemy attacked on the right of the battalion frontage and succeeded in penetrating the wood held by our men.

“Owing to successive lines of the enemy following on, here was the greatest danger that the flank of the whole position would be turned.

“He personally led the counter-attack and drove the enemy from the wood, capturing twelve machine guns and seventy prisoners, and restoring the original line.

“Later on the same day, in another position, the enemy had penetrated to within 300 yards of the village and were holding a timber yard in force.

“He led the attack in person and throughout showed the utmost disregard for his own safety. The counter-attack drove the enemy from his position, but resulted in this very gallant officer losing his life.”

A similar memorial for ‘Bertie’ was unveiled at the People’s Palace in Glasgow in March.