Call goes out to Angus Black Watch veterans to take part in Perth event

The event will mark the regiment’s final operations in the early 2000s.The event will mark the regiment’s final operations in the early 2000s.
The event will mark the regiment’s final operations in the early 2000s.
A call has gone out to Black Watch Iraq veterans in Angus to rally in remembrance of their most bloody and costly encounters since the Korean War.

The service and sacrifice of Scotland’s Black Watch soldiers in Iraq will be marked with a day of ceremony and remembrance in the regiment’s home town of Perth later this month.

The Red Hackled Scots’ deployments to the war-torn Middle East in 2003 and 2004 marked the final operations of one of the world’s most famous regiments before they were absorbed into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 and reduced to company status.

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Brigadier Alastair Aitken, who commanded a Black Watch company in Iraq in 2004, heads up the regimental Association’s commemoration steering committee for the event next Saturday (June 22).

He stressed the aim of the day was to mark the final campaign of the Regiment and to recognise the very specific service of those who served in Iraq, especially the ultimate sacrifice of the nine Black Watch soldiers killed in action and the many wounded.

He said: “We’re hopeful that the proud spirit of The Black Watch will see old comrades gather again in the 20th anniversary year of our involvement in Iraq, and we’re asking the public from The Black Watch recruiting heartland of Perthshire, Fife, Dundee and Angus - and beyond – to show their respects by turning out in support of these veterans.”

The unique day will begin with an ecumenical service or remembrance in St John’s Kirk, Perth, followed by a Freedom of Perth parade of veterans through the streets of the city to the beat of the Pipes and Drums of 2 SCOTS.

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A Salute will be taken b efore the parade moves on to a private reception for veterans and their families at St Ninian’s Cathedral hall, hosted by Perth and Kinross Council.

Brigadier Aitken said: “This day provides not only an opportunity for the many veterans to come together to renew the ties of comradeship which are so important to supporting people through the long term impact of their operational service but also for the public to renew their long and strong bond with their local regiment.”

“We hope that as many veterans of those last operational campaigns as possible will come to commemorate their service and reunite with old comrades,” he added. “It will be a significant and emotional moment for many veterans to have their service recognised by the local area and cements an extremely strong relationship between the people of Scotland and the Regiment in a tradition of service and respect which dates back to 1739.”

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