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First Black Watch statue to be unveiled in Belgium
A statue of a Black Watch soldier is to be unveiled in Belgium in tribute to the thousands who died during World War One, reports The Scotsman. The bronze memorial will be revealed at Black Watch Corner near Ypres next spring and will be the only memorial solely dedicated to the 8,000 Black Watch officers and soldiers killed and the 20,000 wounded during the war. Colonel Alex Murdoch, chairman of the Black Watch Association, said: “The site chosen for the statue has been known as Black Watch Corner since the remnants of our 1st Battalion took part in a successful ground-holding action. Along with other withdrawing British forces, they fought against a numerically stronger force from the Kaiser’s Prussian Guard in November 1914. The action brought to an end the First Battle of Ypres and their heroic stand was to prove decisive because it stopped the German advance to the coast. If they had broken through to the coast, the war would have been over and lost.” The 4.5m high statue will stand on a base of Scottish granite and depict a Black Watch soldier in a kilt, jacket and bonnet, which was fighting uniform at the time, along with a Lee Enfield rifle and 18in bayonet. The unveiling will mark the start of four years of commemorations for the war’s centenary. The Black Watch, which recruited in Tayside and Fife, is now a battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.