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Red Hackle stirs the emotions in Perth Black Watch reunion

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The Black Watch family joined together in Perth for a return to form of the historic regiment’s annual reunion.

And it brought the stirring sight of the Red Hackle being proudly worn for a Fair City parade to the regiment’s spiritual home at Balhousie Castle.

Perth and District Pipe Band led the march from Barossa Place to the castle.

There, veterans, families and serving personnel enjoyed an afternoon of reminiscing and entertainment.

Royal links marked

And the regiment’s close association with The Queen was celebrated in Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee year.

The event was organised by Major Ronnie Proctor and Major John Monteith of the Black Watch Association.

Major Proctor said it was a great chance to bring association members together again after the pandemic.

“The 2019 reunion was a special occasion because it marked the 100th anniversary of the Black Watch Association,” said Ronnie.

“We did manage to hold one last year, but didn’t get a great attendance due to the pandemic situation.

“And we have tried to encourage guys from the Black Watch battalion up at Fort George to get involved in the reunion and the association.

“They are the future.

“When we are on the parade ground in the sky we hope we can count on them to keep the good work of the association going.

“It continues to give welfare, comradeship and benevolence to veterans and their families and we must make sure that continues.”

International audience

Ronnie said: “We also have a live Zoom link which we did last year and it was quite successful.

“It means we can welcome Black Watch veterans from all over the world to be part of the reunion.

“And we put together a special slide show covering the Queen’s reign.

“A Black Watch contingent was part of the parade at the coronation.

“The 1st Battalion were in Korea and some men came back from there to be part of it.

Black Watch
Men of the Black Watch who took part in The Queen’s coronation. Pic: Black Watch Association.

“Of all those who took part in that historic occasion there are only two from the Black Watch remaining.

“General Andrew Watson, who lives in London was adjutant of the 2nd Battalion.

“And Ken Prescott, who lives in Ardersier, was a Sergeant at the time and became a Regimental Sergeant Major.

“They are both now around 96. So while they couldn’t make the reunion we were proud to remember the part they played in representing the Black Watch on that day.”

The Queen last visited Balhousie Castle in 2012.

Ronnie added: “The pandemic has certainly had an impact – we have lost some of our older veterans and some are still uncertain about travelling far.

“Our branches in London and Scotland are holding their own, but we will always do what we can to encourage more interest.”

More pictures from the Black Watch reunion in Perth.

Perth and District Pipes and Drums march down Barossa Place and Balhousie Street in Perth to the Black Watch Museum. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Black Watch veterans at the Black Watch Museum. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Drum Major Kenny Forbes leading the Perth and District Pipes and Drums and Black Watch veterans down Barossa Place and Balhousie Street in Perth to the Black Watch Museum. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Alistair Duthie, pipe major tunes up. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Robert McLaren puts on his black watch hat before the parade.  Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Gordons School of Dancing Montrose put on a show of highland dancing. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
The public take pictures as the parade arrives. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Lee Fitzpatrick, Leading Drummer prepares for the march. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
The girls at Gordons School of Dancing Montrose prepare for their dance. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Emily Beveridge, 17, of Gordons School of Dancing Montrose. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Gordons School of Dancing Montrose perform during todays event. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Perth and District Pipes and Drums march down Barossa Place and Balhousie Street in Perth to the Black Watch. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Gordons School of Dancing Montrose put on a show of highland dancing. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Black Watch veterans march down Barossa Place and Balhousie Street in Perth to the Black Watch Museum. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media
Gordons School of Dancing Montrose put on a show of highland dancing at the Black Watch Museum. Mhairi Edwards/DCT Media

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