Sir,- I read with great interest your excellent supplement regarding the Battle of Loos.
As you rightly said, the first day, September 25 1915, was a black day for Dundee and other areas of Angus and Fife.
For my home town of Leslie in Fife, it was the worst single day of the war.
On that day, Leslie lost five soldiers.
These were Private George Galloway 2nd Royal Scots, aged 19;Private Peter Gow1st Gordon Highlanders, aged 21; Private William Mack 7th Kings Own Scottish Borderers, aged 25; Lance Corporal William Ruddiman 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers, aged 25; Private Peter Whiteside 9th Black Watch.
Peter Gow also lost a brother and a brother-in-law later in war and William Mack, a brother.
Although this wasLeslie’s worst single day’s loss, there were, of course, very many more sad days to come.
The horrors of the Somme, Arras andThird Battle of Ypres still lay ahead.
Once again, many thanks for producing such a fascinating record.
Graham McLeod. 64 High Street, Leslie.
Small nations can prosper
Sir, – I am puzzled by Derek Farmer’s letter (September 23) which attacks me for calling Scottish independence a “noble aspiration”.
The “reality of life in a small independent economy” which he disparages, seems pretty good to me.
Has he been to Denmark or Norway or even Ireland and Iceland, which have bounced back from financial meltdown very successfully?
Surely these are vivid demonstrations of how small, independent countries on the north-western fringe of Europe can deal with their problems flexibly and efficiently and prosper.
The “influence and respect” Mr Farmer attributes to broken Britain escapes me when the UK regularly appears near the top of several deprivation leagues.
David Roche. Hill House, Coupar Angus.
No campaign’s sleight of hand
Sir, – Readers may recollect that those in favour of independence originally wished for three questions on the ballot paper, the third question to be: “Do you wantadditional powers for Scotland?”
However, Westminster refused to sanction a third question, insisting on a yes or no to Scotland becoming an independent country.
Polls taken prior to this decision showed 20% to 30% were keen on the more-powers option.
Then when campaigning was in its final throes, we had the vow, offering more power. So the no vote neatly hoovered up those who were against independence and those who wanted more powers.
This ingenious and unscrupulous political sleight of hand created an advantage that would prove decisive.
However, the Scottish Labour MPs, who supported the no campaign, in order to save their jobs, were not long in getting their comeuppance.
Joseph G Miller. 44 Gardeners Street, Dunfermline.
Gove will call SNP’s bluff
Sir, – So Nicola Sturgeon, addressing civic organisations in Glasgow, informs us she supports the retention of the Human Rights Act. Fair enough, you might say.
But, as in any situation when Ms Sturgeon is challenging Westminster, we must read between the lines.
It seems that UK Justice Minister Michael Gove may deny Ms Sturgeon the chance of adopting her much-performed role of victim, by enabling Scotland to retain the act.
So bizarrely the First Minister, who daily expresses contempt for the UK, rejects such a possibility and instead professes concern that abolishing the act will diminish the UK in the eyes of the world. You couldn’t make it up.
That the UK Government’s proposed bill of rights would strengthen the role of the UK Supreme Court vis -a-vis the European Court of Human Rights won’t sit well with Ms Sturgeon’s separatist agenda either.
Mr Gove doesn’t bring forward UK Government proposals until later in the year. Doubtless Ms Sturgeon is counting the days until she can play her favourite game of them and us with Westminster over the serious issue of human rights.
Martin Redfern. 4 Royal Circus, Edinburgh.
Migrant threat to UK security
Sir, – Migrant Kurds and Turks have battled on the streets of Hanover. There are districts in Germany where immigrant gangs are taking over entire metro trains and intimidating residents.
These immigrant criminal gangs traffic in heroin and cocaine, run brothels and are active in people trafficking.
Immigrants from the Middle East and the Balkans are turning parts of the German cities of Duisburg, Cologne, Dortmund and Essen into “areas of lawlessness”.
German politicians have ignored the problem and the police seem unable or unwilling to go into the immigrants’ “no-go areas”.
A warning for Britain?
Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow.
Set out refugee aid measures
Sir, – Not a day goes by without harrowing scenes of refugees fleeing to the borders of the European Union.
The UK’s commitment to take in more of these is of course to be welcomed, but in comparison with other countries, such as Germany and Ireland, we are taking in considerably less pro-rata.
We have a moral responsibility to opt-in to the extended EU-wide relocation scheme.
Scotland has a strong track record in welcoming those who have been forced to flee their homes due to war or persecution and we must stand ready to help as many people as we can.
For the 20,000 refugees the UK has agreed to take over the next five years, it is vital that a clear timetable is established as to where they are to be resettled and adequate support given to local authorities supporting them.
Alex Orr. 77 LeamingtonTerrace, Edinburgh.
Judge PM on recent actions
Sir, – Commentators claim they will never be able to look at David Cameron in the same way after reading the revenge of his loathsome, erstwhile chum Lord Ashcroft.
They need to lighten up because those of us who attended college in the US endured some pretty weird stuff.
I was also a member of St Andrews University’s Kate Kennedy Club with its procession in which the most attractive, blonde public-school freshman played Kate.
He was often of such surpassing beauty that dons were known to have fainted in the street but sadly all such rites of passage are unacceptable in these bland, politically-correct times.
Surely of greater significance is DavidCameron’s academic achievements and the love, compassion and support he gave his devastated wife during the short sad life of his dreadfully ill son Ivan.
Rev Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews.
Honour those who gave lives
Sir, – I am sure many readers were upset by the comments made by Rev Dr John Cameron about the Battle ofBritain.
The brave airmen who took part and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country should never be forgotten.
We should always honour their names and remember them.
Thomas S. Michie. 93 Main Street, Kinglassie.
Menace of rogue cyclists
Sir, – I would like to add a postscript to Dr Susan Pringle’s letter of September 24.
My wife and I regularly walk Riverside Drive and the same discourtesy by cyclists happens to us.
Many a time I have had a fright as they pass without warning. Someone with a bad heart maysuffer a shock.
I once shouted at a cyclist who turned round and gave me a rude hand gesture and cycled on.
The little ping bell often goes unheard.These people should have a little more respect for other users.
Angus Lockhart. 12 Ullapool Crescent, Dundee.
Let children decide on faith
Sir, – I find myself in the unusual situation of agreeing with Rev David Robertson in that children should be educated and not indoctrinated.
So why does he not take issue with the many faith schools created at taxpayers’ expense?
These schools arevisited by clergy but I have never heard of one being visited by secularists. I would imagine they would not be allowed in.
Religion should be taught in churches and children should be allowed to think for themselves.
Alister Rankin. 93 Whyterose Terrace, Methil.