READERS may recall how members of the public supported the Black Watch soldiers serving in Afghanistan in 2009 by wearing wrist bands in the regiment’s colours.
The wrist bands retailed at £2 each, coming in the Royal Regiment of Scotland colours and bearing the slogan “supporting the Black Watch, 3 Scots in Afghanistan 2009”.
The sale of the wrist bands boosted the coffers of the Army Benevolent Fund and Erskine Hospital, which provides nursing and medical care for ex-servicemen and women.
The Angus branch of the Black Watch Association has decided to re-launch the sale of the popular wristbands.
This time the proceeds will go to the association’s welfare fund, for the benefit of ex-Black Watch soldiers in the area, and towards the cost of erecting a new memorial for the regiment at the scene of one of the telling battles of first world war.
The Black Watch played a major role in helping to stem the German advance through Belgium in 1914 and the Battle of Polygon Wood heralded the start of what became known as trench warfare.
The area of Belgium is now better known as Black Watch Corner.
Major Ronnie Proctor, chairman of the Angus branch of the Black Watch Association, is driving forward a proposal first mooted by Tom McCluskey of Monifieth for a memorial to be erected in memory of the Black Watch soldiers who lost their lives at Polygon Wood.
“The Black Watch lost a lot of men in this battle, and the plan is to erect a memorial in their memory at Black Watch Corner ahead of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the first world war in 1914.
“We have been in touch with the Belgian authorities, who are supportive of the proposal and, all going well, the memorial will be commissioned and in place in time for ceremonies staged to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of world war one.
“It is important to us that the memorial will be sourced and produced in the regiment’s homeland.
“The stone will come from Perthshire and it is to be carved by well-known sculptor Bruce Walker from Kirriemuir.”
The sale of the wrist bands is just one local fund-raiser being organised to help meet the costs of the commissioning and erection of the memorial, estimated to be in the region of £25,000.
Following last week’s re-launch of the wrist band initiative, at Kirriemuir Hill at the weekend, members of the local association will be making arrangements to have them on sale at various outlets throughout the county.