11 Nov 2010

Remembrance Day: Black Watch Memorial

Gazing out over the Perthshire landscape next to where Wade’s Bridge crosses the River Tay, the stone monument of a Black Watch soldier stands on the outskirts of Aberfeldy.

Unveiled in 1887 at Taybridge, it had been intended to be erected on the other side of the river, the actual site of original mustering of the regiment’s troops. However with the fields prone to flooding, the closest practical spot was chosen instead.

In 1910 a lightning strike split the monument from top to bottom and repairs included the addition of a lightening conductor.
The monument depicts a soldier wearing the old regimental uniform. The companies wore dark tartans in order to distinguish them from the “Red Soldiers” and this led to them being known as “Freiceadan Dobh” or “The Black Watch.”

Away from the lights of the town centre, dusk descends like a blanket around the monument. The small green space that surrounds it descends to the river bank and draws the eye towards the stunning view of the snow-dusted hills.

If you don’t already know it is there, you have to be quick to turn off before you are already over the bridge. If you have a chance, it is a perfect spot to stop and enjoy a moment of reflection, looking over the fields where those men would have first gathered all those years ago.

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