Plaque to commemorate forgotten war hero unveiled in North Kelvinside
The forgotten bravery of a World War II hero has been honoured by his home city of Glasgow almost 67 years to the day of his death.
On 30 March, the Lord Provost of Glasgow Bob Winter unveiled a granite plaque at 7 Jedburgh Gardens, the former home of Lieutenant John Young, who died aged 24, ahead of the 1944 Battle of Kohima.
Glasgow decided to honour the fallen war hero after his story was brought to the attention of the Council by local businessman, Roy McCallum, who had come across the amazing story of Lt Young when he was researching his own family’s military service.
He was deeply moved by Lt Young’s story which culminated in the young soldier’s death on 31 March, 1944, covering the safe withdraw of his men in the face of massive Japanese invasion of India.
The delaying tactics of the Lt Young, his men and other comrades in the Assam Regiment, allowed the soldiers in the garrison town of Kohima to prepare themselves for the ensuing 64 day battle which ultimately led to the withdrawal of the Japanese and the cancelling of their plans to invade India.
But when Mr McCallum delved deeper he was shocked to find that the bravery of Lt Young had never been officially recognised. He contacted Glasgow City Council who felt it was fitting that Lt Young’s home town should recognise his heroism.
The Lord Provost of Glasgow said: “I am honoured to be able to pay tribute to a forgotten Glasgow hero who was one of many exceptional people whose sacrifice ensured that lives were saved and the Second World War was won by the allied forces.
“Lt Young’s story is one of amazing courage, care for those under his command and bravery. Seeing that his men were going to be wiped out by the larger Japanese force, Lt Young sent them to safety knowing that he would give his life and thereby fulfilled his orders to fight to the last man.
“His bravery and that of the other men of the Assam Regiment, allowed the garrison town of Kohima to get ready for the Japanese advance into India. The Battle of Kohima, was a turning point in the war in the Far East and stopped the Japanese invasion of India.
“The epitaph to the fallen soldiers of Kohima reads: “When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today”. If ever a person epitomised this sacrifice it would be John Young. I am humble in the face of such bravery. ”
It is hoped that the commemorative plaque will become part of the City’s Heritage Trail