The Black Watch Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:53:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Iraq War – A Serving Scottish Soldier’s View Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:06:45 +0000 Sergeant Major Scott Shaw

Sergeant Major Scott Shaw

As part of BBC Scotland’s series remembering the Iraq War which began 10 years ago, Regimental Sergeant Major Scott Shaw of the Black Watch shares his experience.

Click here to watch the video –

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Black Watch Statue set for Belgium Thu, 04 Apr 2013 11:17:39 +0000 A working model of the statue.

A working model of the statue.

A statue of a Black Watch soldier is to be unveiled in Belgium in 2014, commemorating more than 8,000 soldiers and officers of the regiment who lost their lives in the First World War. 20,000 men from the regiment were injured during the war.

Set to be placed in an area known as Black Watch Corner near Ypres, the statue will overlook a battlefield where the First Battalion made a heroic stand in November 1914.

Colonel Alex Murdoch, chairman of the Black Watch Association said the site was chosen because of the importance of events that stopped the German advance. “Along with other withdrawing British forces, (The Black Watch) fought against a numerically stronger force from the Kaiser’s Prussian Guard in November 1914. The action brought to an end the First Battle of Ypres and their heroic stand was to prove decisive because it stopped the German advance to the coast.”

“If they had broken through to the coast, the war would have been over and lost.”

A clay prototype of the 4.5 meter kilted soldier was revealed in Edinburgh yesterday. The completed bronze statue will stand on a Scottish Granite plinth and depict a Black Watch soldier in a kilt, jacket and bonnet, which was fighting uniform at the time, along with a Lee Enfield rifle and 18-inch bayonet.

The unveiling will mark the start of four years of commemorative centenary events remembering the sacrifices of everyone who fought in the 1914-18 conflict. Plans are being made for 200 veterans and serving soldiers to travel to Belgium next spring to unveil the statue and pay tribute to the fallen.

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Black Watch Returns to Glasgow Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:14:33 +0000 Black Watch 2012 Production

Black Watch 2012 Production

The award-winning play Black Watch is returning to Glasgow from Wednesday 28th March until Saturday 13th April. Written by Gregory Burke and presented by The National Theatre of Scotland, the play tells the story of Black Watch soldiers serving in Operation TELIC in Iraq in 2004.

Sold out in Glasgow on three previous occasions, the play has been praised by critics since it was first performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006. In a review published by the Guardian, James Denselow said the play acts as a reminder of the distance between those who fight our wars and those back home who try and understand them. “Black Watch is fueled by a relentless energy that is a potent reminder of the prime of life, so quickly transformed into death, severe physical or mental injury. It is also a reminder of the great distance between the British population and the wars fought in its name.”

Based on interviews with former soldiers, the play takes viewers from a pool room in Fife to the heart of the battlefield in Iraq while exploring what it means to be part of the famous Scottish Regiment. The production has been seen by 212,000 people across the world, most recently making its debut at the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul. The 2013 production is directed by John Tiffany and stars Stuart Martin, Benjamin Davies, Stephen McCole and Robert Jack.

For more information, please visit the National Theatre of Scotland website.

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Scotland’s Longest Serving Soldier Dies Mon, 04 Feb 2013 10:05:06 +0000 Black Watch Cap Badge

Black Watch Cap Badge

Harry Morgan, Scotland’s longest-serving World War Two veteran has died aged 87. With a military career spanning 48 years, Harry served as a Black Watch quartermaster sergeant and was part of the legendary 51st Highland Division.

In 1942 at the age of 17 years and two days, Harry enlisted in The Black Watch and was sent to Perth for initial training. On completion he was transferred to the 1st Battalion Tyneside Scottish (Black Watch), then to the 5th Battalion Black Watch as part of the 51st Highland Division. During his time with the battalions he saw action at some of World War Two’s fiercest battle sites including Caen, the Falais Gap, the corridor through Holland, Ardennes, Reichwald, Goch and the crossing of the Rhine.

Harry was awarded the War Medal (1939-45) and the France and Germany Star (1939-45), and upon demobilisation in 1948 he enlisted in the 6th/7th Battalion The Black Watch (Territorial Army). In 1957, SQMS Morgan transferred into the Royal Army Pay Corps (TA), which was administering the wages for the 51st Highland Division, and on the formation of the new Territorial Army and Volunteer Reserves (TAVRA) in 1967, he joined HQ Company of the 1st Battalion 51st Highland Volunteers.

Harry served with the Highland Volunteers until 1990, and was described by then Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Richard Nunneley as “an inspiration” to all who served with him and praised his “devotion to duty, dedication, bearing and cheerful disposition” during his “long and outstanding service”.

Upon news of Harry’s death, Black Watch Association secretary Major Ronnie Proctor said they have lost one of the regiment’s “best and dearest”.

“Harry lived for The Black Watch and he will be sorely missed,” he said. “He was a true loyal soldier. He was the most gentlemanly of gentlemen and enriched the lives of those who were privileged to know him. He wore the Red Hackle with pride over a career spanning an amazing 48 years. The Black Watch has lost someone very special.”

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