Argylls painting visited burgh

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A DRAMATIC newly-commissioned painting commemorating the role of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders in the victory at the Battle of Longstop Hill in North Africa in 1943 was on display in early June on the balcony in Helensburgh Library in West King Street.

It is being taken round the main towns in Argyll and Bute and was in Helensburgh until Saturday June 15, and it then moved on to Inverary. Its final home will be the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle.

The painting, by renowned military artist Stuart Brown, shows Major John 'Jack' Anderson in action leading the remnants of the 8th Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, supported by the Churchill tanks of the North Irish Horse, against enemy positions during the assault on Longstop Hill in Tunisia.

Despite intense enemy mortar, artillery and machine gun fire from three sides, which caused heavy casualties amongst the Argylls, they fought through the enemy positions. Near the top of the hill Major Anderson gathered together the small number of men who had made it through the enemy fire, and they successfully took the top of the hill.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry and leadership. An accompanying banner gives detailed information.