Heroes like Motherwell’s Wallace can still be hailed on key date

The Coronavirus crisis should not act as a barrier to commemorating the 75th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday in our own way.

That’s the view of Provost Jean Jones who acknowledged that the celebrations had to be scaled back within North Lanarkshire Council boundaries and elsewhere.

Provost Jones said: “We are all staying at home to try and protect ourselves and our loved ones during another period of national emergency. However, it is vital that VE Day should still be marked by our communities to pay tribute to the Second World War generation.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“On May 8, 75 years ago, years of carnage and destruction caused by the Second World War in Europe finally came to an end and millions of people took to the streets to celebrate peace.

“The 75th anniversary gives our generation the opportunity to pay tribute to the sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who lived through that terrifying period.

“We can also use the occasion to pay tribute to NHS staff and our other key workers, including our armed forces, who have stepped up to help the nation during this pandemic.”

The day has sparked memories too for countless local families of those who served.

Cambridge-based Dorothy Law got in touch to recall her father, Motherwell man Wallace Kirkland who passed away in January, aged 95.

Mr Kirkland, who ultimately lived at Kerr Grieve Court, had the honour of being presented to King Olav of Norway, while serving with the Royal Navy in the nation’s capital of Oslo, on the very day, May 8, when hostilities ceased in Europe.