West Lothian adopts HMS Wallace
Warships Week 23 - 30 May 1942
October 1941 and the end of March 1942, Warships Weeks were organised
in cities, towns and villages throughout Great Britain. The
intention was to raise a sum by investment or deposit in all types of
war savings representing the cost of building one of His Majesty’s
ships ranging from the smallest to the largest vessels. Once the
target had been raised the community adopted the vessel along with its
crew and the bond was strengthened by presentations in recognition of
the money raised. Adoption plaques were presented by the Admiralty to
the community and a plaque presented by the community to the adopted
vessel. Links were maintained by the writing of letters and the
provision of comforts and whenever possible visits were arranged to the
Most of the V&W Class destroyers in commission with the Royal Navy were adopted during the Warship Week scheme and in a number of cases local sea cadet units later took the name of the ship. To find more about Warship Weeks see Peter Schofield’s article on ‘National Savings and Warship Weeks’.
Today, the new town of Livingston created in 1962 is the largest town in West Lothian and the seventh largest in Scotland, with a population of 56,000 (2011 Census) and replaced Linlithglow as the County Town.
West Lothian Courier, 30 January 1942
Lothian Warship Week takes place on May 23-30, and the target is
£210,000, sufficient to pay for the hull of a destroyer. If the
authorities approve the destroyer will be named Wallace.
Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday, 23 May 1942
West Lothian Warship Week was formally opened at Linlithgow this
afternoon the target figure of £210.000 had already been reached, and
it now the county’s aim to double that amount. Admiral G. C. Brodie was
the principal speaker the opening ceremony. Scottish Oils Ltd. have
subscribed £25.000. Bo’ness Co-operative Society follow with £20,000,
and woman has given £20,000. At Bo’ness and Winchburgh last there were
parades of Service and other units.
Edinburgh Evening News, Saturday 6 June 1942
final total for West Lothian Warship Week was £547,540, the target
being £210,000. The investment per head of the population of the
county amounted to £7 4s, and school pupils contributed £1 2s per head,
the total from schools being £14,863.
West Lothian Courier, Friday 12 June 1942
the end of last week Ex-Provost James Wright, Bathgate, chairman of
West Lothian Saving Committee, received a telegram of congratulation
from Lord Alness, president and chairman of the Scottish Savings
Committee. The telegram was in the following terms:
congratulate you and all those associated with you the success of West
Lothian Warship Week. To have more than doubled your target figure, and
surpassed handsomely your War Weapons' Week result of last year, is a
splendid achievement, which the Burghs and County districts alike share
in full measure. I also desire to express my thanks to all those by
their service and liberality, made this success possible.’
Linlithgow Gazette, Friday, 24 July 1942
The Chairman, in drawing attention to the sketch of a plaque commemorating West Lothian’s adoption of HMS Wallace, expressed the hope that the ladies would keep the ships company supplied with comforts as they wish. All have to go through the county depot, but he thought it allowed them the earmark a certain portion for HMS Wallace.