Military Crosses from a band of Dundee brothers who served in the Second World War have been donated to the McManus Gallery.
Marking 80 years since the start of the conflict, the extraordinary tales of gallantry from the Rae family were revealed, alongside the medals, to recognise the bravery of the war heroes.
Stanley, Ian, Douglas and Bruce Rae were the sons of Stephen and Agnes Rae of Encliffe, Albany Road in West Ferry.
Shortly after the outbreak of war, Stanley joined the Honourable Artillery Company, based in London and, after training in gunnery and being commissioned as an officer in 1939, he left for the war in 1942.
While fighting in Perugia in 1945, he was awarded the Military Cross during an epic advance which breached German defences and sent the enemy retreating northwards towards Rome – firing 600 rounds in just two days.
Ian was commissioned into the 76th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery in Dundee, known locally as Dundee Gunners.
His Military Cross was awarded in 1944 after fierce leadership in fighting near the Dutch town of Venray, as the British Second Army pushed towards the German border.
Douglas, the third brother, enlisted with the London Scottish Regiment in 1938, which was then affiliated with the 1st Gordon Highlanders. He was captured at St Valery in 1940 when the 51st Highland Division became detached from the main British Army. He remained a prisoner of war until 1945.
Bruce, the youngest of four, also joined the Gordon Highlanders, determined to avenge the capture of his brother, and won the equivalent of two Crosses.
The first was awarded after his selfless courage before and during one of the great battles of the North African campaign, where he led his men on a bayonet charge. The additional bar was for later heroics in North West Europe in 1945.
Ian Rae, son of medal recipient Stanley Rae, donated the memorabilia.
He said: “My father and his brothers grew up in Broughty Ferry so they were established Dundee boys, that’s the main reason I wanted to give the medals to the McManus as it’s a fantastic museum.
“Our family are extremely proud of our forefathers’ actions in World War II and they must be honoured and indeed the medals must be shown to the public.
“It is great that this will be done by the wonderful museum and hopefully future generations can see this part of history.”
Sinclair Aitken, chairman of Leisure and Culture Dundee, which manages The McManus, said: “We are delighted to accept this rare collection of medals on behalf of Dundee City Council to keep the memory of the Rae family together.
“Much of the focus for the museum collecting nationwide in recent years has focused on the First World War to mark the centenary of that conflict, and we have received some outstanding donations.”
“Now as we mark the 80th year since the outbreak of the Second World War, it is hoped that museums throughout the UK will see an increase in donations like this one relating to the Rae boys from Dundee, that tell their story of during a conflict.”
The medals will be displayed in the museum’s Making of Modern Dundee Gallery in 2020.