After falling ill and missing three engagements, The Duchess of Cornwall was back to business on Saturday joining Prince Charles in Scotland. The Duchess, who missed the Battle of Britain Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey last Sunday, was in fine form Saturday for the ceremony in Dundee marking 100 years since the Battle of Loos.
Friday 25th September marked one hundred years since the beginning of World War One’s Battle of Loos. It was the greatest British offensive of 1915, with six divisions forming part of the Allied attempt to break through the German defences on the Western Front.
Around 30,000 Scots from all eleven Scottish Infantry Regiments fought in the battle, and the fatalities were significant. By the end of the Loos offensive on 14 October 1915, 21,000 British soldiers had lost their lives, 7000 of whom were Scottish. Its effects felt throughout every town and village in Scotland.
The Duke of Rothesay is Royal Colonel of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which suffered significant losses at Loos, and Royal Colonel of 51st Highland, 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, whose predecessors include battalions from several regiments that fought at Loos.
The Prince’s Great Uncle (brother of the late Queen Mother) Captain Bowes-Lyon died on the third day of fighting. Another brother, Michael, was listed as missing in action in May 1917 but was finally found to have been taken prisoner after being wounded. He spent the rest of the war as a POW.
Numerous commemoration events led by the Scottish Government and the Great War Dundee Project will commemorate the contribution and sacrifice of Scottish troops at the Battle of Loos, from 25th September to 14th October 1915.
The Service in City Square on Saturday was attended by The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Joining Charles, Camilla and Sturgeon were approximately 1000 people including 300 veterans and 250 serving soldiers plus dignitaries and members of the public.
Before the royal couple’s arrival, veterans and serving soldiers paraded through the City Centre before taking their seats in City Square. The square was transformed into a ‘Cathedral’ with four ministers from Dundee representing the Scottish Episcopal, Roman Catholic Church of Scotland, Church of Scotland and the Chaplain-General of the Armed Forces. A single tenor bell pealed from 1155hrs until Service starts at 1200hrs.
Charles laid a wreath against a specially commissioned memorial stone along with the First Minister of Scotland and H.M. Lord-Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Dundee, Councillor Bob Duncan.
Readings from speakers including Lieutenant-General Sir Alistair Irwin and actress, Lesley Mackie were also delivered during the ceremony. The Last Post marked the start of a one minute silence.
Featured photo credit: Northern Ireland Office (cropped) via Flickr