TWO Alloa war heroes who received the Victoria Cross were immortalised in Alloa last week.

Both John Crawford Buchan, First World War, and John McDermond, Crimean War, have been honoured as their VC stones were officially unveiled last Friday, March 23, at a ceremony in light rain.

Veterans, current service men in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, youngsters, politicians, distant relatives, and those with an interest in local history all came out, despite they light rain.

In addition, the Royal Regiment of Scotland Pony Major Mark Wilkinson brought along Mascot Lance Corporal Cruachan IV to the Boer War Memorial on the day.

The gallantry of 2nd Lt John Crawford Buchan, who was born in Alloa, is well documented.

However, little was known about Private McDermond until former Stirling and Alva woman Gloria Winfield, who was instrumental in securing the stone, researched his life.

Her interest was sparked when a VC medal was found in the mud on the banks of the River Thames, and based on the date it could only have belonged to one of two soldiers.

Curious Gloria, who is not related to McDermond, spent around a year-and-a-half in archives and record rooms to tie up all the lose ends and get as full a picture as possible.

McDermond, born in 1828, saw all major battles of the Crimean War and it was at Inkerman on November 5, 1854, he would display heroics of the highest order.

When his commanding officer, Colonel Haly, lay injured and was surrounded by soldiers of the Imperial Russian Army, Pvt. McDeromond, along with Captain Rowlands, rushed to the rescue.

He killed the very man who had wounded the colonel and became the first soldier of the 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot to win the award.

McDermond, easily mistaken for another man of the same name, took an army pension of nine pennies per day following a medical discharge in 1862 and died at the age of 38 in a Glasgow after contracting typhus.

Gloria said: “If you ever read anything about the Crimean War – and I knew very little because my major has always been World War II – he endured cholera, typhus, dysentery.

“All these diseases, he met on a daily basis there and the conditions the military were under were horrendous – there was no medical services.

“So he goes back to Glasgow and he dies at the age of 38 from typhus. It was a sad old life for John McDermond and he has never-ever-ever had any memorial.”

Gloria wanted to thank the provost and Clackmannanshire Council for adding the unveiling of a second stone to the ceremony at the very last minute.