I was granted special permission by the Speaker of the House of Commons to host a service and reception to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Clydebank Blitz followed by an evening adjournment debate. This was the first time that the House of Commons had commemorated the Clydebank Blitz an event which had a profound impact on the entire community of West Dunbartonshire. I was also delighted to be joined by my friend and colleague Gil Paterson MSP, the Clydebank Blitz Memorial Group and sisters and survivors May McFadden and Renee Turley.
During the debate, I used the first 10 minutes of my speaking time to read aloud each of the 528 names of those recorded and known to have been killed during the Clydebank Blitz. Knowing my grandfather was among the fallen, it was an extremely emotional moment for me and as our community’s representative in Westminster, it was important to me that I ensured these names would forever be recorded in the Hansard record of Parliament.
Speaking during the debate, the UK Government Minister Julien Brazier MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence said,
“Proportionally, Clydebank lost more people and more buildings than any other major community anywhere in the United Kingdom.”
And Steve Pound MP, Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland, captured the spirit of the debate saying,
“I found the service at noon today immensely moving. I am not one for greetin’, and I have not a drop of Scottish blood in my body, but my eyes misted over as I heard about the heroism of those people. I realised that it was not just the ships that were made of steel in Clydebank.”
You can watch the whole debate below.