Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers Association held at The Scots Guards Club, Edinburgh – 16 September 2017

Attending

Colonel AJ Loudon MBE (President – KOSB Association)

Brigadier FAL Alstead CBE DL MPhil (Trustee – KOSB Association)

Lieutenant  Colonel CGO Hogg OBE DL (Trustee – KOSB Association)

Major AG Horsburgh (Trustee – KOSB Association)

Captain TH Duff (Treasurer – KOSB Association)

Mr PA Walton (Secretary – KOSB Association)

Association Members x 25

Apologies

Mr SJ Common MM (Secretary – Coldstream Branch)

Chairman’s Welcome

The President welcomed those attending noting that a good turnout had been achieved at this particular venue. A warm welcome was extended to Lt Col Andrew Watson, Commanding Officer designate of 1 SCOTS.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

Minutes of the previous KOSB Association AGM held on Saturday 30th July 2016 at The Barracks, Berwick were read and passed as a true record. Proposer: Lt Col CGO Hogg, Seconded: Major K Fraser.

Matters Arising

Nil.

KOSB Association Accounts

The President presented and explained the KOSB Association accounts for the year ending 31 December 2017 (see attached). These were in the form of a shortened version completed by Greaves West & Ayre (Berwick) and had been approved by the KOSB Association Trustees. The accounts were subsequently accepted by those attending.

Benevolence and Awards

Benevolence expenditure for the previous year had been approximately £20,000; payments being proportionally allocated according to the length of time an individual had served with the KOSB and the Royal Regiment of Scotland. 71 KOSB individuals had been assisted and the overall expenditure for assistance had been £14,000. The Chairman presented the breakdown of benevolence finances and expenditure awarded by the KOSB Association for the period April 2015 – April 2016. He explained that initial contact for assistance should be made to the relevant SSAFA Branch and the subsequent report would be forwarded to HQ Scots for consideration. KOSB contribution depended on length of Service with the Battalion on a pro-rata basis. The benevolence accounts were accepted by those attending.

Grant Horsburgh informed the audience that the sum of £400 from the Edinburgh Branch Benevolence fund had been utilised for the funeral of John Pender. It was stressed that this was an “in house” decision by the Branch to use its funds in this manner and did not therefore constitute a future precedent. The President expressed his gratitude to Sid Munro for the assistance he provided to the family of John Pender, and noted that there had been an exceptional attendance of Borderers at John’s funeral.

President’s Update

Minden Day 2017: 282 KOSB personnel were on parade accompanied by the Pipes and Drums of the Berwick British Legion Pipe Band and the Inter Scaldis Band from The Netherlands. Sir Philip Mawer, Chairman of the Berwick Archives and Museum Action Group (BAMAG), along with Colonel Loudon presented Minden roses to those officers on parade. The President stated that this event is a good magnet for all Borderers and their families to celebrate the Regiment and for visitors to Berwick to experience the KOSB Museum housed within The Barracks complex. Minden Day 2018 will take place on Saturday 28th July 2018.

WW1 Commemorations: Three very successful battlefield tours organised by Andy Middlemiss and John Ross had been undertaken to battlefield locations associated with the KOSB: Gallipoli (2015), Somme (2016) and Passchendaele (2017). Andy Middlemiss explained that there had been an excellent attendance at the Passchendaele commemorations with “Border Life” television filming a piece to camera regarding the involvement of the KOSB during the battle. Andy presented an overview of the history behind the commemorative plaque affixed to the Zonnebeke memorial which commemorates the loss of over 7,500 Borderers during WW1. Andy expressed his gratitude to Tom Duff, Peter Walton and Euan Scroggie for their assistance in the organisation of the visit to Passchendaele.    

Victoria Cross (VC) Commemorations: The Government had commissioned commemorative VC paving stones to be laid to honour those individuals who had been awarded the VC during WW1. Piper Laidlaw’s stone had been laid in Norham in September 2015 and commemorative stones to CQMS William Grimbaldeston VC and CSM John Skinner VC had been laid and unveiled at the Town Hall, Blackburn and the Peoples Palace, Glasgow respectively on 16 August 2017.

Plans for the unveiling of the commemorative stone to Sgt Louis McGuffie VC at Wigtown are currently ongoing, the Association President will appoint a liaison officer from the Association to co-ordinate KOSB input with the Wigtown Council.

KOSB Museum:

Productive discussions regarding the future of the museum are still on-going in conjunction with other Barracks stake holders via the Berwick Archives and Museum Action Group (BAMAG). BAMAG is proposing to submit a Stage 1 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid in 2018.

Internal security within the museum will be enhanced by the addition of CCTV cameras which will be fitted during the winter months whilst the museum is closed to visitors. This action will positively assist in the approval of Accreditation status for the museum.

AMOT has agreed funding for the digitisation of a large quantity of museum archived documentation.

The Chairman expressed his gratitude to Ian Martin, Colin Hogg and Martin Linaker for their exceptional work regarding the forthcoming three-yearly accreditation process required for the museum.

A request by Grant Horsburgh for more volunteers to assist the small team under Ken Fraser was extended to all members via Branch Secretaries.

“Borderers “Chronicle”: The President praised the quality and content of the 2016 “Chronicle” and requested branches and members to submit items/articles for publication. It was stressed that photographs are extremely welcome, however they should be accompanied with the names of those in the photograph.

Events

Bill Speakman VC to receive a card from the Association on the occasion of his 90th

Malaya Veterans Reunion Dinner was held on 14 September 2017 at the Peebles Hydro.

KOSB Website and Association Mailing List

Peter Hogg gave those members attending an update on the KOSB website and registration onto the mailing list, the preceding twelve months had seen an increasing number of individuals signing up to the mailing list. The website and mailing list will be the official medium for conveying information for Association members and a request for future branch events to be forwarded to Peter for promulgation was made. The President expressed his sincere gratitude to Peter for the extremely hard work and extensive time he had spent ensuring the website and mailing list were fit for purpose.

Branch and Reunion Reports

Branch reports were received from the following:

Berwick

Coldstream

Dumfries

Edinburgh

Hawick

Lanarkshire

Northern Ireland

Stranraer

4th Battalion

6th Battalion

Membership Data Base

It had been noted that there were a number of anomalies regarding whether individuals were members of the KOSB Association in addition to being a member of a particular Branch. It was requested that Branch Secretaries forward a list of their respective members to the Association Secretary to cross reference their details with the main membership data base.

Subscriptions

In order to sustain the future financial viability of the Association, The President raised the possible option of standardising membership fees; annual membership could be increased to £25.00 per annum which would also include the annual receipt of a copy of the Borderers” Chronicle”. The membership fee could also be gift aided which would recoup further revenue via HMRC. Further work on these proposals and other possible options would continue.

Volunteering

The President made a request for more volunteers to assist at branch level to ensure the continuity of each branch, thereby maintaining the high profile of the KOSB within their respective communities.

Forecast of Forthcoming Events

22 September 2017: Wigtown Book Festival, Iain Gale will be present to publicise “Always a Borderer”.

24 November 2017: Cruickshank Dinner, Buccleuch Arms Hotel, St Boswells.

12 November 2017: London Cenotaph. 75 tickets available.

28 July 2018: Minden Day, Berwick upon Tweed.

AOB

The President had received a letter from Mrs Joanne McCulloch requesting clarification regarding the role of Borderers families during the parade on Minden Day. Members felt that the inclusion of families was extremely important for the future survival and continuity of this event. The President would consider how best to encompass family members and subsequently liaise with the Minden Day organisers to discuss the various options available.

Major Willie Turner noted that a number of family members were not in receipt of roses on Minden Day 2017. It was explained that the numbers of those attending were unknown prior to the day of the parade and that tourists visiting The Barracks would request a rose form the assisting Army Cadets. Unfortunately the cadets are not able to distinguish between family members and tourists. The Association Secretary noted the observation and would therefore increase the number of roses purchased for Minden Day 2018 to alleviate this problem.

Kevin Pope highlighted the requirement of £5,700 to refurbish the Zambia War Memorial situated near Victoria Falls which has two KOSB individuals commemorated on its panels. Regiments commemorated on the war memorial had been requested to assist by donating £300 to the project, however it was explained that KOSB Regimental funds could not support this project and that private funding would be required from individual members. Kevin requested members to assist in this project and would forward any donations to Brigadier David Williams accordingly.      

Date and location of next meeting

 T.B.C.

Formal meeting closed at 12.45 pm.