Within Dundee, Scotland, there are two Memorial projects relating to The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) that require substantial amounts of financial assistance in order to make them fitting Memorials to our illustrious and famous Regiment. These projects are;
Project A – The Black Watch Memorial at Powrie Brae, Emmock Road, Dundee
On the front of the statue plinth, the inscription states, ‘To the memory of all ranks of the 4th and 5th Dundee and Angus Battalions of the Black Watch who died in the Second World War’.
The Memorial on its original site to the north of Powrie Castle, was unveiled by HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on 15th October 1959 in front of 3,000 people. In 1985, when the A90 Dual carriageway was constructed, the Memorial became rather isolated, therefore it was decided to move the Memorial to its present position on Powrie Brae, Emmock Road.
In April 2023 on the conclusion of various inspections of the Memorial and surrounding grounds, it was agreed that immediate and substantial refurbishment was required to ensure that this famous Memorial was displayed in its full glory.
Two local gardening services company’s owned and run by Black Watch Veterans Peter Fotheringham of Operation Garden Force and Barry Mason of Barry’s Garden Services, have for this project, joined forces to uplift, level, realign, and then re-lay all the paving slabs on the Memorial as well as the surrounding pathways. Once done, they will power wash all paving slabs and stonework. They will create a border around the external Memorial wall where relatives of the fallen can lay their own private memorials. They will also prepare, cut and maintain all the grassed areas, lifting the cut grass on every occasion, thereby creating a striking and respectful visual affect. Once Peter and Barry have completed all their work, a local Stonemason will be employed to repoint all the stonework on the wall of the Memorial and the plinth on which the Statue stands. The costs of materials and a relatively small element of their time for Peter and Barry, is £1,200.00. The Stonemason’s costs are currently scheduled to be £5,262.00 giving a total requirement of £6,462.00.
Project B – The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) Memorial on Black Watch Parade, Dundee
Colonel Alex Murdoch, a previous Chairman of the Black Watch Association, had a desire to have a Statue (Memorial) erected in Dundee to commemorate The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) 1739-2006.
After a few meetings with Dundee City Council representatives, the proposal, was not to erect a single Memorial, but to create a Walkway using the length of Black Watch Parade to tell the story and history of the Regiment. Black Watch Parade runs along the water’s edge from the Tay Road Bridge to just before the V & A Museum. This location, in Dundee with its back to Angus, looking across towards the Kingdom of Fife and looking westwards up the River Tay towards Perthshire takes in the four traditional recruiting areas of our illustrious Regiment. At both ends of the walkway could be large modern metal sculptures containing either a Black Watch Badge or Red Hackle with part of the history embedded into the sculpture.
Along the route, paving stable would be etched with significant events such as Battle Honours and specific timelines in our history. QR Codes would be placed along the walkway, allowing users to obtain further information via the Black Watch & Museum Website.
At the time of creating this article, John Gray, a retired member of Dundee Council Planning Department and an extremely eager supporter of the proposal, is liaising with local artists. The process will then be, that John will issue the Artists a brief, containing the fundamental principles of what we desire to achieve, and ask them to produce their own ideas and Impressions. From those ideas and Impressions, the Committee, which will then include John and Fiona Connah (Curator of the Black Watch Museum), will select the one which has produced the best outcome. At this juncture, the Artist who has been selected will become a member of the Committee and then the hard work truly commences.
The costs involved in all of this is currently unknown as we need to obtain various quotes for all the work including the Artist’s costs, however, using John’s experience and knowledge of previous projects I am projecting a figure of £80,000 will be required.
It is the desire to raise the total sum of £86,462.00 (cost of both projects) through fundraising and corporate and personal donations. The Dundee Branch will be working hard to raise as much as possible through various events and it is hoped that the other Association Branches may support us and do likewise.
Corporate and personal donations can be made via either a bank transfer to the Black Watch Regimental Trust Account, through the Just Giving page or by sending a cheque. All monies received will be deposited into a ring-fenced Account to be used purely for the purposes of these two projects. Any monies remaining after all costs have been paid, will be used to conduct future maintenance work on either of the projects.
Donations can be made for a specific Project by leaving a Reference with the donation, i.e. if you want to make a donation specifically for Project A, use the reference Powrie Brae followed by your full name, and for Project B, use the reference BW Parade followed by your full name. If you wish to remain anonymous, please just leave the reference to the project. If you have no preferences of project, then please just leave your full name or if preferred, make an anonymous donation.
Continual updates on how the Fundraising is progressing will be communicated via, Trustees and Association Committee meetings, emails to all Association Branches, various Black Watch related Facebook pages, the Just Giving platform and hopefully, articles in the local press and media.
For More Information about the projects or how to donate, Contact Major (Retired) Colin Gray