Jim McGovern calls on the Government to protect the Black Watch   

9 May 2012

Jim McGovern, MP for Dundee West, has called on the UK government to protect the historic identity of The Black Watch.

Philip Hammond, the Secretary of State for Defence, has recently stated that the ancient battalion may be axed in the next round of army restructuring, as the Tory-led government seeks to reduce the size of the armed forces.

Jim McGovern said;

“I am deeply distressed to hear the disregard the government have shown for our historic battalions, particularly the Black Watch.

"Like many people in Tayside I have a close family connection to the Black Watch; my grandfather died while serving in the Black Watch during the Second World War, and he is in fact buried in the cemetery in Gibraltar where he died in 1941.”

“It is totally unacceptable that the Black Watch, which has proudly served Scotland and the UK for centuries, should be treated so shoddily.

"It is hurtful to veterans and their families, and will destroy the esprit de corps, pride and ties of tradition felt by those who serve with the battalion.

Mr McGovern concluded,

“The government can seek to reduce costs without destroying centuries of tradition, and without robbing Scotland and Tayside of an historic battalion known throughout the world.

"These plans are a terrible mistake, and I will do all I can to ensure the government changes its mind.”


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