Black Watch veteran sees ‘disrespectful’ memorial changed
Insignia on monument had been inaccurate
A Dundee veteran has spoken of his relief following a successful campaign to get a “disrespectful” memorial changed.
Former Sergeant Major Charlie Reid, who was with the Black Watch for 22 years, discovered a memorial that appeared to show an inaccurate insignia for the regiment at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Burtonupon-trent.
Mr Reid described as a “kick in the teeth” the realisation the badge displayed had significant differences to the official Loyal Order Of the Thistle of Scotland, known affectionately as “Jimmy”.
Following consultation between the Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) Scots and the Black Watch Association, along with a campaign by Mr Reid, the insignia has now been changed.
Mr Reid said he had received more than 100 messages from outraged veterans supporting his call for the memorial to be put right.
“We wrote to the veterans minister and appealed to the NMA but didn’t feel like we were getting any further forward,” he said.
“It’s a massive place and it has tributes and memorials to all sorts of regiments.
“Dundee is a Black Watch city and the history means a lot to people here.
“All we want to do is protect that history because children will look back in 100 years and not realise that these things are wrong.”
While the previous sign did bear some similarities to the official Loyal Order Of the Thistle of Scotland, there were marked differences, including a different overall shape.
The emblem previously used in the memorial garden seems to have been the same one used by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission but no further explanation has been offered for the error.
Peter Orgill, the head of operations at the NMA previously confirmed the original memorial was “commissioned, designed, funded and built” by the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
He said: “We’re glad that this issue has now been resolved by the Royal Regiment of Scotland to the satisfaction of the Black Watch Association.”
The monument now bearing the correct insignia at the National Memorial Arboretum.
From left: Campaigners Lawrence Hutchison, Rab Wilkie, Charlie Reid and Norman Ednie at The Black Watch monument at Powrie Brae.