Commemorative Blue Plaque unveiled for Lanarkshire war hero

On Saturday 7th May 2022, the Lord-Lieutenant was delighted to attend a special ceremony to honour WWII Royal Navy Submariner and Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Donald Cameron. Born in Carluke, Lieutenant Donald Cameron received the Victoria Cross medal for outstanding bravery during World War II.

A commemorative Blue Plaque, from the Submariners Association, has now been dedicated in his memory on Carluke High Street to provide a lasting legacy within the local community.

The Blue Plaque was unveiled by Rear Admiral Niall Kilgour CB, President The Submariners Association, and Lieutenant Cameron’s daughter Mrs Amanda Prideaux. The Plaque was blessed by The Revered Iain Cunningham, Minister of Kirkton Church, Carluke.

Lieutenant Donald Cameron was honoured with the Victoria Cross for valour after carrying out a most daring and successful attack on the German Battleship Tirpitz on 22nd September 1943. The Battleship was moored in the protected anchorage of Kaafiard, North Norway when Lieutenant Basil Charles Godfrey Place DSC and Lieutenant Donald Cameron RNR, commanding two of His Majesty’s Midget Submarines X7 and X6, necessitated the penetration of an enemy minefield and a passage of 50 miles up the fiord, known to be vigilantly patrolled by the enemy and to be guarded with nets, gun defences and listening posts. This after a passage of at least 1000 miles from base.

Having successfully  eluded all these hazards and entered the fleet anchorage, Lieutenants Place and Cameron, with complete disregard for danger, worked their small craft past the close anti submarine and torpedo nets surrounding the Tirpitz, and from a position inside these nets, carried out a cool and determined attack.

Whilst they were still inside the nets a fierce enemy counter attack by guns and depth charges developed which made their withdrawal impossible. Lieutenants Place and Cameron therefore scuttled their craft to prevent them falling into the hands of the enemy. Before doing so they took every measure to ensure the safety of their crews, the majority of whom, together with themselves, were subsequently taken prisoner.

In the course of the operation these very small craft pressed home their attack to the full, in doing so accepting all the dangers inherent in such vessels and facing every possible hazard which ingenuity could devise for the protection in harbour of vitally important Capital Ships. The courage, endurance and utter contempt for danger in the immediate face of the enemy shown by Lieutenants Place and Cameron during this determined and successful attack were supreme.

Speaking after the unveiling ceremony Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire , Lady Haughey CBE said –

“It was an honour and a privilege to attend the unveiling of the Blue Plaque, from The Submariners Association, and to meet Lieutenant Cameron’s family who had travelled from Portsmouth to attend the ceremony. Lieutenant Donald Cameron received the Victoria Cross medal for outstanding bravery during WWII. Another courageous war hero from Carluke, I am delighted that a commemorative Blue Plaque along with a Victoria Cross Paving Stone have now been dedicated in his memory, in Carluke, to provide a lasting legacy within the local community.”


Posted by Gavin Whitefield