William Angus VC is the most famous son of Carluke, a small town in Lanarkshire, Scotland. On leaving school he was employed as a miner, but escaped the rigours of that work when his soccer abilities led to him joining Glasgow Celtic as a professional footballer. As he struggled to gain a place in the strong Celtic team of that time, his sporting days were interrupted by the outbreak of war.

As men were being called to arms on the Western Front of France, a recruiting drive was held near Carluke. Sergeant Major George Caven of the famous Highland Light Infantry addressed many of the town's young men, telling them of the need for more troops to join those fighting for King and Country. Two of the volunteers he signed up that day were William Angus and James Martin, both townsmen of Carluke, whose careers and lives were to be later inexorably bound up in an amazing example of humanity and great courage.

Both men were sent to Dunoon for training with the Territorial Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. On completion of training, they learned that their battalion was not to be immediately sent into action. To overcome this, both men volunteered for an attachment to the 8th Royal Scots, who were heading for the Western Front a few days later.

Thrown into the turmoil of trench warfare, the two men were quickly separated when Angus was wounded by gunfire. After recovering from his wounds, Angus returned to the trenches. A few weeks later his path was again to cross that of James Martin, in an event that was to inspire people around the world, but none more so that those in their small town of Carluke, who understood exactly what drove one of her sons to risk certain death for another.