Colours decision will not be made on votes alone

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VOTES alone will not bring the King’s Own Scottish Borderers colours back to Berwick permanently, the man behind the current campaign has revealed.

This week, Ed Swales has received the backing of local MPs on both sides of the border, while more veterans have added their voices to the call, supported by The Berwick Advertiser, to have the regimental colours laid up in Berwick Barracks.

But, Ed has warned that the regimental council will look at various other considerations when they make their final decision, some time after the closing date for the vote of December 17. He emphasised that although the votes of the general public would not be counted along with those of KOSB association members, he hopes they will carry some weight with the regimental council.

Ed said: “There will be a series of factors that will go into making a decision on our colours. The civilian vote puts the views forward of what we refer to as the ‘regimental family’.

“Their votes won’t be stacked up and counted, and that’s fine, but I would seriously hope that it will be taken into account so the decision is made with a balanced view.”

He added: “The direct relatives of fallen King’s Own Scottish Borderers have made their views painstakingly clear. We should be in their eternal debt of gratitude for the contribution that they have made and consider with due reverence their feeling.

“It is the golden thread of the spirit of the KOSB which aye binds us; past, present and future.”

Following his weekend meeting with Ed, Sir Alan Beith MP told the Advertiser: “There is a very powerful case for keeping the KOSB colours in Berwick, which has been the regiment’s official home for a large part of its history, and the colours could be a feature of new approaches to opening up the barracks to visitors and local people.

“I am in discussions with English Heritage about how the best future can be secured for these wonderful historic buildings.”

Borders MP Michael Moore has also wished Ed well in his fight, having attended the KOSB Association dinner at St Boswells recently. Meanwhile, a group of former Borderers have added their support to the campaign. The men met at the barracks on Tuesday, marking 60 years since they signed up to join the regiment.

Ed said: “The momentum has gathered behind the campaign and as more and more people become aware of it the benefit of that is that more former KOSB soldiers are made aware of it and get to make their vote, whether that is for Edinburgh or Berwick.

To register your support for the campaign, visit www.berwick4borderers.org.uk