Speaking of Scotland for Tartan Week

Some of the contributors who 'spoke of Scotland' in the Angus Council Chamber in Forfar.
Some of the contributors who 'spoke of Scotland' in the Angus Council Chamber in Forfar.

There was a packed Council Chamber for the Angus Speakers Club’s tenth annual contribution to Tartan Week – “Speaking of Scotland”.

Jim Smith of Strathmore Speakers Club was chairman for the evening, ably assisted by Muriel Smith in the role of timekeeper.

Jim introduced three Strathmore Club members and one guest speaker, all making prepared power-point speeches on aspects of World War 1.

Bob Stewart described the general enthusiasm at the start of the conflict and the subsequent horrors of trench warfare. He spoke of Forfar’s proud war record with 23 per cent of the adult population volunteering to join up and described his own immediate family’s contribution.

Doctor Andrew Buist spoke on the subject of McCrae’s Battalion, the 16th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Scots, raised from volunteers in 1914 by Sir George McCrae whilst guest speaker the Reverend Brian Dingwall, Kirriemuir, talked about War Graves in Scotland. He has set himself a target to photograph and index all the graves he can, with the eventual aim of having the information available in libraries and schools throughout the country

Last to speak was Douglas Wares with a moving account of “The Unknown Warrior”.

In the second half of the evening Jim Smith chaired an open discussion on World War 1 as it affected Scotland, which raised several pertinent issues.

This was followed by a short impromptu speaking session chaired by John Winterton, Arbroath, who invited four members to speak for three minutes each at short notice on Scottish words. Eric Buick set off with ‘Gadgie’; Pamela Howat drank down a wee ‘Swallie’; Lis Hill recoiled from ‘Mingin’ and Alex Rae denied being a ‘Teuchter’.

Christine Watkin thanked everyone who had contributed to making it a most memorable evening and a very fitting tribute to Scotland’s part in the Great War.