Scottish Korean War Veterans are held in “high esteem” by the UK Government the Scotland Office Minister David Mundell has said as he visited the Scottish Korean War Memorial in West Lothian.
Joined by representatives of HM Armed Forces, the British Korean Veterans Association (BKVA), the Lord Provost and the Leader of West Lothian Council, Mr Mundell presented Major (Ret) Allan Cameron, Chairman of the Lothian and West of Scotland Branch of the BKVA with a letter from the Prime Minister to congratulate the Korean War Memorial Committee on their work to erect the Memorial in the hills near Bathgate.
Mr Mundell said:
This letter from the Prime Minister reflects the high esteem which the UK Government holds for the brave Scottish soldiers, sailors and airmen who stood together with our allies amongst the thousands of troops who served in Korea.
Surrounded by Korean Firs in the Bathgate hills, this Memorial provides a fitting location for veterans and their families to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
I congratulate all those involved as part of the Korean War Memorial Committee who have helped fund and construct this stunning memorial. It is a permanent reminder to help ensure that future generations will come here and remember the courage, bravery and sacrifice of all those who served in Korea.
Colonel Jim Wilson of Veterans Scotland said:
Scotland’s veterans community is delighted that the Prime Minister has written to acknowledge the huge amount of work and fundraising by the BKVA members in Scotland that resulted in this moving memorial in memory of those British servicemen who died during the Korean War over 60 years ago; they gave their lives to ensure our continuing freedom.
The Korean War Memorial Committee consists of Trustees drawn from the West of Scotland Branch of the British Korean Veterans Association, West Lothian Council and the Royal British Legion Scotland who collaborated to design and build the memorial. It was opened to the public last summer to mark the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the Korean War.
As part of the British contingent, Scottish troops joined a United Nations allied force after North Korean troops invaded South Korea in June 1950. This included soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, the Black Watch, the Royal Scots, sailors who served off the Korean peninsula and pilots from the Royal Air Force who supported the allies throughout the campaign.
Text of letter from the Prime Minister to Major (Ret) Allan Cameron
I would like to congratulate you and the Trustees of the Memorial Committee for the tremendous effort you put in to secure the funding for and build the War Memorial near
Bathgate, dedicated to all those who fought in the Korean War.
I know that my colleagues in the Scotland Office were honoured to host many of your fellow veterans at a reception in Edinburgh last year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Armistice.
This was a brutal conflict which saw horrific military and civilian casualties. We stand in admiration for the sacrifice made by so many.
My congratulations again for the work which you and the Trustees have done in erecting this fitting tribute to all those who fell in the conflict.