Festive comfort from the Black Watch

Pictured, from left, are John Gordon, John Glen, John Paton and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Beattie.
Pictured, from left, are John Gordon, John Glen, John Paton and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Beattie.

A little extra Christmas cheer was delivered to Black Watch veterans and widows this week with the distribution of comfort parcels.

The parcels were given out by the Angus branch of the Black Watch Association on Monday to members across the county.

An annual festive treat, the association has been distributing parcels for almost 10 years.

Major Ronnie Proctor, Angus branch chairman, said the idea stemmed originally from a suggestion put forward by one of the members and the food parcels are now looked forward to by their recipients.

He said: “We take parcels to veterans and widows across the county, from Forfar and Arbroath to Montrose, and pay for them out of branch funds.

“We used to get donations from shopkeepers but in these tight and stringent times they can’t really do that, so some of the committee members go out and shop around to make up the parcels.

“It’s just to give a bit of comfort and to let people know that they haven’t been forgotten, which is important at this time of year particularly.”

The association is a registered charity that exists to help all those who have served in The Black Watch, as well as their dependants, who are in need due to age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

It also promotes comradeship and relies on an extensive network of branches and volunteers across the UK to organise events which help maintain links to old comrades.

Major Proctor added: “It’s part of our charter that we look after them and this is something we’ve done for quite a few years. Generally the widows in particular thank us for reassuring them they haven’t been forgotten about and on one occasion one even stopped me in the street in Forfar to say that she really appreciated the gesture. It’s something that we hope to continue for quite some time in the future.”