Angus Loudon“GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, AND WELCOME TO MINDEN DAY 2016 IN THE BARRACKS.

AS PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION AND CHAIRMAN OF THE TRUSTEES, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU ALL FOR GRACING US WITH YOUR PRESENCE TODAY.

I EXTEND A SPECIAL WELCOME TO OUR PRINCIPAL GUESTS:

MRS ELIZABETH HOWARD-THORNTON, WHO WILL PRESENT MINDEN ROSES TO THE OFFICERS. MRS HOWARD- THORNTON’S GREAT GRANDFATHER, CORPORAL RICHARD HOWARD, FELL AT FALFEMONT FARM ON THE SOMME ON 3 SEPTEMBER 1916 WHILE SERVING WITH 2ND KOSB, AND SO IT IS PARTICULARLY FITTING THAT, IN THIS 100TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR OF THAT TERRIBLE BATTLE IN WHICH SO MANY BORDERERS SERVED AND IN TOO MANY CASE DIED, SHE IS HERE WITH US TODAY.

I ALSO WELCOME THE DEPUTY MAYOR OF BERWICK UPON TWEED, MR GREGAGH ROUGHEAD, THE SHERIFF, MR BRIAN DOUGLAS, AND THE SHERIFF’S LADY, GRACE DOUGLAS

I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME:

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION PIPE BANDS OF BERWICK AND EYEMOUTH, UNDER PIPE MAJOR LAURA PATTERSON.

THE INTER SCALDIS PIPES AND DRUMS FROM THE NETHERLANDS, UNDER PIPE MAJOR GILBERT HEKHUIS AND LEAD DRUMMER ROBERT HEKHUIS. THE BAND WERE FORMED IN 1984, IN VLISSINGEN, TO COMMEMORATE THE PART PLAYED BY THE KOSB IN THE LIBERATION OF THEIR COUNTRY IN 1944/1945, AND ARE CURRENTLY THE DUTCH NATIONAL PIPE BAND CHAMPIONS.

THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD BAND FROM FRANCE UNDER PIPE MAJOR YVES HOLBECQ AND DRUM MAJOR NICOLAS MARGOLLE, THEIR PRESENCE TODAY FURTHER UNDERLINES THE COMMEMORATION OF EVENTS IN 1916, IN WHICH WE WERE SO CLOSELY INVOLVED, AT SUCH GREAT COST.

THE HOME GUARD BAND OF GULDSMEDSHYTTAN FROM SWEDEN UNDER CAPTAIN TOMMY LUNDHOLM AND BY KIND PERMISSION OF COLONEL BENGT FRANSSON OF THE SWEDISH VARMLANDS REGIMENT. BENGT IS ONCE AGAIN HERE WITH US TODAY, AND IT IS VERY GOOD TO SEE HIM.

I WOULD ALSO WISH TO THANK ALL THOSE INVOLVED WITH PREPARING AND SETTING UP TODAY’S EVENT, INCLUDING: THE ROTARY CLUB OF BERWICK UPON TWEED, FOR ONCE AGAIN MANNING THE BAR. NANCY AND HER DANCERS FOR PROVIDING THE DISPLAY OF HIGHLAND DANCING. KEN FRASER AND HIS LOYAL TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS. THE LOCAL NORTHUMBRIA CONSTABULARY. AND EVERYONE ELSE TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION WHO HAVE GIVEN FREELY OF THEIR TIME AND ENERGY TO MAKE TODAY POSSIBLE – IT IS MUCH APPRECIATED BY US ALL.

IT IS 257 YEARS SINCE THOSE MOMENTOUS EVENTS OF 1759, WHEN THE BRITISH ARMY EARNED IMMORTAL GLORY ON THE FIELD OF MINDEN, THE STORY OF WHICH DONALD FAIRGRIEVE SO MOVINGLY RELATED TO US A FEW MINUTES AGO. THANK YOU, DONALD.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT, EVERY YEAR ON THIS DATE, WE GATHER HERE TO COMMEMORATE AND CELEBRATE THAT FAMOUS VICTORY, AND PAY OUR TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO FOUGHT WEARING THE RED ROSE IN THEIR HEADDRESS. BY WEARING THE ROSE TODAY, WE KEEP THE FLAME OF OUR BELOVED REGIMENT BURNING BRIGHTLY, AND IT IS THE LEAST WE CAN DO FOR ALL THOSE WHO SERVED WITH SUCH DISTINCTION, NOT JUST AT MINDEN, BUT ALSO THROUGHOUT THE 317 YEARS OF THE REGIMENT’S EXISTENCE, AND WHOSE LEGACY IS CARRIED FORWARD TODAY BY THE MEN – AND, SHORTLY, THE WOMEN – OF 1 SCOTS. IT IS A HISTORY OF WHICH WE CAN ALL BE VERY PROUD. OUR HERITAGE AND LINK TO THE CROWN IS EXEMPLIFIED THROUGH OUR ROYAL PATRON, HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS ROYAL, TAKING ON THE MANTLE WORN FOR SO MANY YEARS BY HER GREAT AUNT, PRINCESS ALICE, DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. I AM DELIGHTED THAT HER ROYAL HIGHNESS HAS VERY GENEROUSLY SENT US HER MINDEN DAY GREETINGS, AND SHE HAS ASKED ME TO PASS THEM ON TO YOU ALL.

 TODAY IS A LOT ABOUT OUR PAST. LAST YEAR I PROMISED YOU A NEW REGIMENTAL HISTORY, AND I AM DELIGHTED THAT I CAN NOW SHOW YOU THE VERY FIRST COPY OF THIS REALLY EXCELLENT BOOK, ‘ALWAYS A BORDERER’ BY IAIN GALE, WITH ITS FORWARD BY OUR PATRON HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL, AND AN INTRODUCTION BY LT GEN JOHN COOPER, THE LAST COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT AND HERE WITH US. I THANK ALL WHO HAVE ALREADY SUBSCRIBED TO IT, AND ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO BUY COPIES.

OF COURSE, OUR HISTORY DID NOT STOP IN 1759, AND AS ‘ALWAYS A BORDERER’ RECOUNTS SO VIVIDLY, AND AS WE ALL HERE KNOW SO WELL, THE REGIMENT WAS INVOLVED IN MANY CAMPAIGNS THEREAFTER, RIGHT UP TO ITS AMALGAMATION IN 2006. NONE WAS MORE POIGNANT THAN THE FIRST WORLD WAR, AND WE CONTINUE TO COMMEMORATE THE BATTLES OF THAT CONFLICT DURING ITS CENTENARY. GALLIPOLI AND LOOS LAST YEAR, AND THE SOMME THIS YEAR.

I APPLAUD EVERYONE WHO HAS WORKED SO HARD TO MAKE THESE COMMEMORATIONS SO MOVING, AND THE FORTHCOMING BATTLEFIELD TOUR TO THE SOMME, ORGANISED BY THAT TOURIST ‘DREAM DUO’ OF ANDY MIDDLEMISS AND JOHN ROSS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THIS, WHILE LAST SUNDAY THREE OF THE TRUSTEES ATTENDED A SERVICE IN THE CANONGATE KIRK TO COMMEMORATE THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN YOUNG-HERRIES AT THE SOMME – AND HIS GREAT NEPHEW, MAJOR IAN GIBBS, WAS AT HIS GRAVE AT MAMETZ WOOD THE SAME DAY. WE NOW LOOK FORWARD TO COMMEMORATING 1917 AND THE BATTLES THAT SAW US WIN THREE VCs THAT YEAR.

WITH FRANCE VERY MUCH ON OUR MINDS, I ALSO WISH TO ANNOUNCE THE AWARD BY THE PRESIDENT OF FRANCE OF THE LEGION D’HONNEUR TO GEORGE COLTMAN. GEORGE BECOMES A FURTHER BORDERER RECIPIENT OF THIS STATE AWARD BY THE PRESIDENT TO THOSE SURVIVORS WHO FOUGHT TO LIBERATE FRANCE IN 1944; HE WAS IN 6 KOSB, LANDING SHORTLY AFTER D DAY AND FOUGHT ALL THE WAY TO GERMANY IN 1945. WHILE I CANNOT MYSELF AWARD HIM HIS LEGION D’HONNEUR TODAY – THAT IS A DUTY FOR THE FRENCH AUTHORITIES AT A SEPARATE CEREMONY – I WISH TO CONGRATULATE GEORGE ON RECEIVING THIS PRESTIGIOUS AND RICHLY-DESERVED RECOGNITION. I AM DELIGHTED THAT BOTH GEORGE AND ANOTHER RECIPIENT – JOHN WEBSTER – ARE HERE WITH US TODAY.

CAN I DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE CAMPAIGN TO RAISE FUNDS TO PLACE A COMMEMORATIVE REGIMENTAL PLAQUE IN BELGIUM TO REMEMBER ALL BORDERERS WHO FELL ON THE WESTERN FRONT, THEREBY FILLING A SERIOUS GAP IN OUR MEMORIALS. I MUST ALSO THANK BRIGADIER ALLAN ALSTEAD FOR ALL HE HAS DONE TO MOVE FORWARD THE REFURBISHMENT OF THE MEMORIAL ON THE NORTH BRIDGE IN EDINBURGH, WHICH WILL IN DUE COURSE BE THE PRINCIPAL REGIMENTAL MEMORIAL TO ALL FALLEN BORDERERS IN ALL CAMPAIGNS.

FINALLY, I PROMISED YOU A NEW REGIMENTAL WEBSITE AND THAT IS NOW VERY MUCH UP AND RUNNING – THIS WAS A REAL REGIMENTAL EFFORT, WITH THE SITE BEING DESIGNED BY ALLAN ALLSTEAD’S SON, WITH THE ONLINE ASSOCIATION SHOP RUN BY NEIL BALLANTYNE, AND WITH OUR CYPRUS-BASED WEBMASTER, PETER HOGG, MAKING IT WORK, NOT TO MENTION THE INPUT FROM MANY OTHERS. I THANK THEM ALL, AND PARTICULARLY PETER, FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO GET THE SITE GOING, AND TO THEN RUN IT. I ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO REGISTER AND USE THE SITE, WHICH WILL BE THE PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF REGIMENTAL INFORMATION AND NEWS.

SO, WITH ALL THE FORMALITIES NEARLY OUT OF THE WAY, AND CONSCIOUS THAT I AM BETWEEN YOU AND THE BEER TENT, LET’S HAVE A GREAT DAY – MARCHING THROUGH THE TOWN WITH CHESTS OUT AND CHINS UP, ENJOYING EACH OTHER’S COMPANY, PULLING UP A SANDBAG AND SWINGING A LAMP, AND REMINDING OURSELVES ONCE AGAIN WHY.”

 

“ONCE A BORDERER, ALWAYS A BORDERER”!!