A PAINTING on show in the town by an acclaimed Clydebank artist is to be bought by West Dunbartonshire Council.

The cultural committee agreed this week to approve the purchase of Tom McKendrick's painting with £1,000 from its budget.

The work, entitled "Mother And Child", is part of Mr McKendrick's Soldiers collection, which opened at Clydebank Town Hall earlier this month.

The painting depicts war hero S Lt Michelle Ping QVRM MiD and her daughter Ellena Rae. Michelle, who works for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, is also a Royal Navy reservist.

Called up to serve in Afghanistan, she was assigned as a medic to Scottish soldiers and spent four weeks in hostile terrain.

While on patrol, Michelle heard the call "man down" and ran to the aid of wounded sniper Craig Paterson, who had been shot in the head.

In a hail of fire she threw herself over the wounded soldier to protect him. Despite being under fire, she got him back to get medical aid, stabilised him and got him to a helicopter.

Craig, from Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, made a full recovery.

Michelle's heroism earned her a mention in dispatches and the Queen's Volunteer Reserves Medal. It also earned her the nickname "Mother" from the 4th Scots soldiers.

In 2017 she achieved her dream of becoming a real-life mother when she gave birth to Ellena Rae, and the pair were painted by Tom as part of his exhibition.

Depute Provost Karen Conaghan was among four councillors on the committee who chose the painting from those on show in the exhibition.

She said: "I just liked it as soon as I saw it. It is very poignant in this year of all years when we marked the centenary of the end of the Great War."

Soldiers is a major collection of portraits by Mr McKendrick, who lives and works in the Clydebank area, and is the culmination of a project which begun in 2012.

The market value of the portrait is £2,500, and a museums and galleries discount of £500 has been offered by Mr McKendrick.

The committee agreed to contribute £1,000 from the cultural budget towards the overall purchase price of Mother and Child.

The rest of the cost will come from the National Fund for Acquisitions and The Art Fund.

The acquisition of the painting will augment the selection of works by Tom McKendrick already held in the West Dunbartonshire Council fine art collection.

Bailie Denis Agnew, chair of the cultural committee, said: "It will also represent an important contribution to collection items that relate to war service, and the area's military history more generally."

The exhibition at Clydebank Museum began on November 6 and runs through until January 12. It is open to the public from 10am until 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and admission is free.