Keeping Black Watch identity

Mid-Scotland & Fife Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser is opposed to any changes to the Royal Regiment of Scotland that will see the identity of the Black Watch and the other battalions being stripped away.

Murdo Fraser said: “It is unclear whether the end of the name ‘Black Watch’ is actually being proposed and I have written to Philip Hammond seeking clarity on the issue.

“Communities across Scotland are intertwined with their respective local battalions and any proposals from the Ministry of Defence must not see our battalions stripped of their history and identity.

“There can be little operational benefit from these changes and I am strongly urging the Ministry of Defence not to proceed with this move, if indeed it is being proposed. The Ministry of Defence must think again as Scotland’s infantry units are among the world’s best fighting units. It was only recently that the Black Watch regiment was merged to become the 3rd Battalion in the Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots). At the time, promises were made to the Black Watch that they would keep their own identity, including the red hackle, and maintain their historic name.

These proposals will be viewed with dismay, not just by the Black Watch, but by all of those with an affinity with the regiment.

“Angus, Fife and Perthshire areas have a long and proud history as the historic recruiting ground for the Black Watch. The soldiers recently returned from another tour in Afghanistan, where they served with courage and dedication.”