Hermitage School 1939-45 Memorial

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hermitage_war_memorialTHOSE Helensburgh and District men who died on active service in World War Two are remembered with pride.

Elsewhere in this Military section of the website is the story of Sergeant Campbell Lowrie, who died when his bomber was shot down near Paris on June 3, just three days before D-Day, and another local airman who lost his life was Sergeant Alexander Glass Dunbar, who died when his aircraft crashed in Shropshire in 1940. His funeral was held in the old churchyard at Cardross.

They were not the only ones. Cardross man Robert Phillips supplied this illustration of the 1939-45 memorial to former pupils which had an important position in the old Hermitage School in East Argyle Street.

Robert, who remembers the Dunbar family maintaining the gardens at Kilmahew Castle, does not know where this memorial is now, but said: “There are a lot of stories attached to the names in that illustration.”

One of those named is his uncle, Corporal Alan Purdie of the Queen’s Rifle Regiment. “He was my mother’s brother, and he was killed by a land mine during a training exercise. In those days they trained using lives mines,” he said.

“Another Cardross man named on the memorial is Willie McManus, a gunner in the Royal Artillery. I think his family are now in Australia.”