Angus annual Black Watch dinner

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THE ANGUS branch of the Black Watch Association will hold its annual dinner in the British Legion Clubrooms in Forfar this Saturday evening.

The branch held its first dinner in October 1999, the year the branch was re-formed.

It was its first formal event and, as it was held in October of that year, it was named ‘The El Alamein Dinner’ to honour the famous battle which began in October, 1942.

A spokesman for the branch said: “This being the 70th anniversary we aim to make this year’s event special. Major Ronnie Proctor will give a talk on the battle and Mrs Georgiana Osborne, the Lord-Lieutenant of Angus, will also make a speech.

“At that first dinner we had several members who actually took part in the battle. Sadly they are no longer with us but they will be in our thoughts on the night.

“We have, however, located a survivor of the battle who lives in Gourdon and we are hopeful he will be able to join us.”

The battle began on October 23, 1942 with a massive artillery salvo which lasted two days.

It ended on November 4 in victory for the Allies - albeit at great human cost to both sides.

Field Marshal Rommel ordered his Afrika Korps to retreat westwards and finally succumb to the superior forces of General Montgomery’s 8th Army in May 1943.

The 1st, 5th (Angus) and 7th (Fife) Battalions, as part of the 51st Highland Division, played a key role in the battle.

The victory at El Alamein was significant to the outcome of the Second World War - it was the first major victory for the Allies and proved to be the turning point in the war.

The spokesman continued: “We owe them a huge debt. At the Angus Branch of the Association we are always ready to welcome new members.

“We meet on the second Thursday of every month at 7pm in the Strathmore TA Centre, Forfar, which is located at the junction between Brechin Road and Castle Street.

“If you served with the Black Watch, be it regular, national service or TA we would like to see you.

“We have several social events throughout the year and keep up to date and support The Black Watch Battalion who are currently based at Fort George.

“Our members come from all corners of Angus and beyond. Why note come along to our next meeting and find out what we are all about?”