Wartime Battles Celebrated

victoriesA sunny Summer’s day in Blantyre June 1943 was the venue for a wartime celebration. To commemorate the victories of the British Eighth Army and the Russian Army at Stalingrad, two trees were planted on Saturday 19th June 1943 at Low Blantyre Public Park. Both trees were planted by the Fifth Lanark District Council.

Major Alcock, MC and Lieutenant Colonel Mather were the principal speakers and others taking part represented Lanarkshire Miners Union, the Communist Party and Blantyre Co-operative Society. Colonel Mather inspected the home guard and the Army Cadet Corps, who were on parade and both officers took the salute at the march past of the personnel of the Lanarkshire Defence Services. (Home guard).

The trees would both be around 70 years old now and quite notable within the park. I wonder if its possible for them to be identified, as surely a plaque is needed to mark these important victories.

As a sidenote, Stalingrad was one of the fiercest battles of World War 2. Famous for it’s close combat and disregard for civilian or military targets, it took all the might of the Allies to stop the Nazi machine in their tracks. Many German soldiers continued to fight on regardless, refusing to surrender believing it still to be a better cause that giving up to what the Russians would do to them. The end of this battle allowed the allies to concentrate on the proposed Western Front and plans for D day.

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