The Courier

Flag rededication is poignant moment for Brechin resident

Angus Branch members who attended the service

The Angus branch of The Black Watch Association carried out the annual rededication of its Branch Standard at Brechin Cathedral.

The ceremony was especially poignant for one Brechin resident, Rhonna Hampton.

Mrs Hampton’s brother, Private Mark Carnie was killed just days away from finishing his first tour in Northern Ireland forty years ago.

© DC Thomson
Angus Provost Ronnie Proctor

Mark was aged just 18 when he died after a bomb that had been built into a wall was remotely detonated from a block of flats as his foot patrol passed by in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

Mrs Hampton said: “Mark was in The Black Watch, but was attached to the Queen’s Own Highlanders.

“He had always wanted to join the forces, as his dad was in the RAF, but he joined the army.

“He was a fun-loving guy, and always liked a joke and a carry-on”

“I was 24 when he was killed, and not long married.

“I was pregnant at the time, and my parents came round to tell me what had happened — although it had been on the news, I hadn’t seen it.

“I was devastated as we were looking forward to seeing Mark when he finished his tour.

“We didn’t want him to come back like that.

“Receiving the invitation to the ceremony did bring it back to me, but it is nice that he is being remembered, and it’s great that fallen soldiers are remembered.”

Mrs Hampton said she was pleased to have attended the event, which she described as “respectful”.

“They have served their country, and it is the right thing to do for them.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, who also serves as the Deputy President of The Black Watch Association was guest of honour at the ceremony, which was the last service in the cathedral conducted by Reverend Dr Roderick Grahame, who will shortly transfer to Dundee.

Speaking after the event, Angus Provost and Veterans Champion Councillor Ronnie Proctor said: “As we approach the 100th anniversary of the guns falling silent at the end of World War I, it is important to remember those who served their country, with many making the ultimate sacrifice in different conflicts.

© PA
Soldiers from The Royal Regiment of Scotland Black Watch (3 SCOTS) march.

“The association, which celebrates its own centenary next year, exists to foster comradeship and to provide support to all who served in The Black Watch, and equally importantly, their families in times of adversity.

“All former members of the regiment are most welcome to attend our monthly meetings in the Royal British Legion club rooms in Academy Street, Forfar at 7.30pm on the first Monday of each month.”