VC winner honoured with railway plaque

A plaque in memory of a Kirkintilloch soldier posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after a suicidal attack has been unveiled at Nitshill station.

And there to witness the ceremony to honour Sergeant John Meikle VC were his two nephews, John and Alan Meikle.

Sergeant Meikle worked in the booking office at Nitshill until going off to serve on the Western Front, where in 1918 he single-handedly defeated the eight crew members of two German machine guns before being killed during a bid to repeat the feat against a second machine gun nest.

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The Railway Heritage Trust provided the stone memorial for permanent display at the station, with support from ScotRail and The Railway Mission, and is located in the exact spot that the old Nitshill booking office once stood.

Sgt Meikle is one of just seven Great War railway veterans in Britain to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and the only one in Scotland.

A previous memorial in the station was removed in 1971 due to vandalism and was erected in Dingwall, where his regiment, the Seaforth Highlanders were based.

Speaking at the service, ScotRail Alliance Managing Director, Phil Verster said: “It is the most fitting tribute that this plaque stands exactly where the old booking office where John worked was.

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“It’s important that we remember Sgt Meikle, but also to remember all who have lost their lives in conflict.”

Sergeant Meikle’s nephew, John added: “Our family are proud to see the plaque re-erected.

“It is a reminder to the people in the Nitshill area, what a fine and kind young man he was.”

A plaque in his honour is to be installed in his home town of Kirkintilloch on the centenary of his death.