Or bladdy well ignored.
Ha ha - sorry Gnomie
Or bladdy well ignored.
Ha ha - sorry Gnomie
I agree, If you want something remembered then mention it
why not remember the Scottish Culture.
As ive said i would love to see statues to all our cultures alongside the river, or placed around Williamson Square.
Hear hear. Claire Hamilton was only saying on the big drive time (radio Merseyside 5-6 last night) How many ordinary people in the street would know who the statues are of in St. Johns Gardens.
They took us there in school to learn about them, I must admit i had forgotten most of them until i looked them up again a few years back.
what about flags? or is that a stupid idea
The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
canals to view its modern museum describing
how it once was?
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There's already plenty of flags on the floor of Williamson Square
It takes a real man to wear the kilt
Feb 23 2008
by David Charters, Liverpool Daily Post
On every foreign field, where their tartan is buried, can be found a little bit of Liverpool. A new book tells of the city’s famous Scottish soldiers. David Charters reports
THE silver-haired chap, sitting proud in his blazer and shuffling through the photographs of heroes, is not by God’s calling a wearer of the kilt.
This could be because his knees are sensitive to the cold, or the fact that his young nose sniffed the sullen grey of the industrial Mersey, rather than the chilly burns gurgling through the Highland heather.
But the very sight of the Forbes tartan still stirs the soul of Dennis Reeves, historian to the Liverpool Scottish, who knows the faces on the photographs, as though they were personal friends.
And in a sense they are. For with his new book about their commando operations in the Second World War, Dennis is ensuring that the coming generations will know a little of the bravery and the sacrifices made by these soldiers for this country in the name of our city.
He is also curator of a little museum dedicated to their deeds, beginning with the Boer War at the start of the 20th century.
Now many foreign fields are haunted by the laments of these men, in those hidden places, where they left their blood and their tartan.
People settled in Liverpool for different reasons. Some were destitute, others were fortune seekers. History speaks particularly of the Irish, who came in great numbers after the Potato Famine and gave the city its Catholic tradition. Their songs, poems, gab and bitter/sweet jokes are still central to the Liverpudlian character – once bubbling and brooding along the river, now just as likely to be found in the suburbs.
The Welsh were the builders, from whose schools and hymn-shaken churches of black Bibles, red bricks and wool-shone pews, strode new generations of teachers, solicitors and doctors.
All this was made possible under an English sun by the native genius for commerce and administration.
Maybe this is an over-simplification, but it holds some truth.
But where, in this romanticised history of Liverpool, are the Scots? The answer is found in three words – the Liverpool Scottish.
Most, though certainly not all, hurdled over the border to help the Sassenachs run their banks, hospitals, shipping offices and other businesses.
Sassenachs was the slightly derogatory Scottish dialect word for the Saxons, often applied in a wider sense to the English.
Many Scots quickly prospered and a joke popular among them tells of Jock returning home for a holiday. “What are the English like?” asks his mother. “How would I know,” he replies, “I haven’t met any. I only deal with the heads of department.”
Despite much success, often placing them solidly in the middle-classes, these ambitious men wanted to retain their Scottish identity, while recognising that their contributions were to the UK as a whole.
In 1859, fears that Napoleon III of France was planning an invasion of the UK started a flap. The Liverpool Scottish Rifle Volunteers (XIX Lancashire) was formed into Highland and Lowland companies with the young Queen Victoria’s approval.
However, the true history of the Liverpool Scottish as an infantry battalion began in 1900 during the Boer War. The 8th (Scottish) Volunteer battalion, the King’s Liverpool Regiment, had an annual subscription of 10 shillings (50p) and an entrance fee of £2. The first commanding officer was Colonel C Forbes Bell, from whom they adopted the Forbes tartan. The full Highland dress uniform featured a khaki tunic with scarlet collar and facings together with a feather bonnet or glengarry and tartan plaid. Twenty two of them went to South Africa with the Gordon Highlanders.
Headquarters were established in Fraser Street, Liverpool, and in 1908, on the establishment of the Territorial Force, it became the 10th (Scottish) Battalion, the King’s (Liverpool Regiment).
From the start, Liverpool Scottish men served in the Great War – doctors, accountants, bankers and cashiers, with polite handshakes and soft accents. But class differences counted for nothing when they advanced towards the Bellewaarde Ridge in the Belgian village of Hooge, with Bibles in their kit-bags and the kisses of children and sweethearts still warm in their hearts. They were as decent a bunch of chaps as you could ever meet – rugby players and psalm-singers.
Their attack on that June 16, 1915, was just a sideshow of the big slaughter at Ypres, or “Wipers” as the tommies called it.
Twenty three officers and 519 men, all wearing the green/blue Forbes tartan, started running towards the enemy lines. By the end, 188 of them were dead or missing and 212 were wounded. The Liverpool Scottish Battalion had almost gone. But there was a determination to keep the name going, so another battalion was raised. By 1918, they had formed three battalions, all volunteers. Some 10,000 men had served in them and 1,100 were killed.
But in his meticulously researched book, Dennis concentrates only on the Second World War, hence its title – Special Service of a Hazardous Nature. The Story of the Liverpool Scottish Involvement in Special Services (1939-1945).
In 1920, the Liverpool Scottish was reformed as the 10th (Liverpool Scottish) Battalion. The King’s Regiment (Liverpool) TA, but 17 years later was redesignated as the Liverpool Scottish, the Queen’s Own Cameroon Highlanders, to become an integral Territorial battalion of the Cameron Highlanders. A second battalion was formed immediately before the war.
As commandos, many would serve with great distinction.
Secret operations suited the free spirit of the Liverpool Scottish, who did not bow easily to “bull” from the top brass, though more colourful expressions were heard in the barracks – even from tongues and lips more accustomed to prayers.
It is unfair to name just one engagement, but the part played by the Liverpool Scottish in the raid on Saint-Nazaire in occupied France (Operation Chariot) on March 28, 1942, is commemorated in the annals of war.
Members of the Liverpool Scottish and other men had been trained as commandos in Scotland and 611 were chosen for Operation Chariot. The audacious plan was for the former US destroyer, HMS Campbeltown, packed with explosives on delayed fuses, to ram the gates of the U-boat base, while the commandos rushed ashore from motor launches. Immense damage was done, and the objective of preventing the port being used by the German battleship Tirpitz was realised.
Five VCs were awarded, but the price had been high, with 168 soldiers and sailors killed. Among the Liverpool Scottish contingent was Captain Donald Roy (“The Laird”). His DSO citation read: “Captain Roy led his part ashore across the blazing bows of the destroyer under intense enemy fire. His tasks included the destruction of two enemy medium anti-aircraft gun emplacements on top of the pumping-station. With the utmost daring and rapidity, Captain Roy and his party scaled the walls of the pumping-station with ladders and grappling-hooks, silenced the guns and annihilated the crews.”
Shamefully, the Germans photographed Tom McCormack of the Liverpool Scottish, as he sat in the street dying. He had been shot several times and a grenade had mutilated his face. This was published in the German Armed Forces’ magazine, Signal, under the headline, “Picture of A British Commando”.
Dennis looks again at that photograph – another time, another place, but always there are brave men, who die for others.
His own life had been different, but the two men are united by the Forbes tartan. In a sense Dennis is the keeper of Tom’s memory.
After leaving Caldy Grange Grammar School, Wirral, with O levels in Art and Science, Dennis, 65, the son of a margarine factory worker, was for 30 years an engineer at Cammell Laird Shipbuilders, Birkenhead.
He is married to Maisie. Dennis joined the Liverpool Scottish as a TA soldier in 1962.
“The Cold War was at its height,” he recalls. “I was working in the shipyard and thought that if I was called up I would be put in the Navy. Well, I liked building ships, but not sailing in them, so I looked round for the nearest TA unit – the Cheshires, didn’t like them. The Royal Marines had big hats, didn’t like them. Someone suggested the Liverpool Scottish, so I suddenly found a Scottish grandmother and did 16 years with them.”
Such was the glamour of the battalion that in more recent times, Merseysiders often “discovered” Scottish ancestry to enable them to join. Questions weren’t asked. “As long as you were willing to wear a kilt,” Dennis adds. “But getting an Englishman to wear a kilt is very difficult. For the first week you feel, ooh very embarrassed, but you soon get into it.
“In the end I was doing the job of museum curator and the two things clashed.”
On Tuesday evenings, Sergeant Reeves would be drilling when someone would knock asking to see the museum, founded in a very small way at the Fraser St HQ in 1956. It is now in Wavertree.
As a TA soldier, Dennis was occasionally sent to camps overseas and he was in Cyprus in 1974, when Greece invaded. “But they were evacuated by the British Army. They drove us to the main British base in closed trucks. We saw the mass graves being dug. They got us out as quickly as they could,” he says.
Well, what has become of the Liverpool Scottish? “We have been reduced by Army cuts to a platoon, which is about 30 men, serving with A Company of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. Some are out in Afghanistan and some are in Iraq as I speak,” he says.
So the tradition continues and Dennis is keeper of the memory.
THE museum is open on Wednesday afternoons and those wishing to visit should contact Dennis on 0151 645 5717. Copies of the book are available there or 15 Rydal Bank, Lower Bebington, Wirral. CH63 7LL (£12.50 p&p).
Source: Liverpool Daily Post
That's right, you can always tell a man from the McDonald clan.
Lift his kilt and see if he's got a quarter pounder (cheese optional)