THIS is your last chance to support the Berwickshire News-backed campaign to bring the King’s Own Scottish Borderers’ colours back to Berwick.
Launched last month by Ed Swales, president of the Berwick branch of The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, the campaign asks that the colours, which display the regiment’s battle honours, be laid up permanently in Berwick, rather than in Edinburgh.
The regimental council plans to put the colours, currently with 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland (1SCOT) at Dreghorn, in their final resting place.
Options for where this should be include the Scottish National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle and the capital’s Canongate Kirk, but Mr Swales believes the regiment’s colours should be ‘laid up’ at Berwick Barracks, to forever maintain the link between the regiment, the town, and their home depot.
And with a vote on the issue due to close on Saturday (December 17), Mr Swales is appealing for one last push to help sway the regimental council’s decision as to where the colours will be permanently laid up.
He said: “Since the start of this campaign almost four weeks ago, I have witnessed more of the true spirit of the Borderers than anyone could have ever imagined.
“The Berwick colours campaign has received a gathering wave of overwhelming support from not only hundreds of former KOSB soldiers but also the extended regimental family, amongst them relatives of many serving and fallen KOSB, from all over the world, that runs into thousands.
“I am extremely grateful to them all for their undeniable loyalty to the regiment and the men who filled our ranks over the generations.”
He added: “Getting the word out to former Borderers to ensure that they have the opportunity to vote for either Edinburgh or Berwick has been a challenge within the month timeframe.
“Without the outstanding contribution of the staff at KOSB home headquarters in Berwick, Berwick Advertiser, Berwickshire News, the Southern Reporter and the Journal amongst others, this simply would not have been possible.
“I would also like to thank all staunch folk of the Borderland, from Berwick to Stranraer, via the Borders, Dumfriesshire and Galloway, Northumberland, Cumbria to Lanarkshire and back via Edinburgh for enabling me to see the depth of feeling and support for the regiment and its heritage.
“Finally, without great Berwick support from Kreative Technology and Shiel and Morrison, the uphill struggle may well have proved too difficult.”
The campaign has received the backing of local MPs on both sides of the border, as well as huge support from former KOSB soldiers, their families and the general public.
One former KOSB officer posted on the campaign website (see below): “Berwick has served the regiment admirably. Bringing the colours back to the museum would be an honourable reward.”
Mr Swales concluded: “Whatever the outcome, it has been so good to see the Borderers unified and smiling again after the last few years. I salute you, every one of you.
“Once a Borderer, always a Borderer.”
Votes need to be cast by this coming Saturday (December 17) and can be made through the campaign website www.berwick4borderers.org.uk