A story today that is tucked away inside the newspapers, but first a history lesson.
The Battle of Culloden on Culloden Moor near Inverness, Scotland on 16th April 1746, where hundreds of men of Charles Edward Stuart’s Jacobite army were massacred by the Hanoverian army of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The last battle on British soil, a battle that altered the course of Scottish history. One of those battles where the dead were buried where they fell.
Now, 260 years later, signs are to be erected at the site asking visitors to respect the site as a war grave following a complaint about picnickers.
A member of ‘A Circle of Gentlemen’, a society which recalls the Jacobite cause, said he was furious at the behaviour of some tourists.
Alasdair MacNeill said he saw a family picnicking on top of one of the grave mounds.
Mr MacNeill said he and other members had complained to the National Trust for Scotland.
He said, "A family of four and their two dogs were sprawled across a grave mound having a picnic. The father was leaning against the headstone eating a Scotch egg and smoking a cigarette."
The circle member said he would not expect such behaviour to be acceptable at World War I battlefields such as Flanders or Ypres.
Mr MacNeill said Culloden's fallen were hastily buried in wide, but shallow graves, by British soldiers.
He added, "Many people, especially American tourists, come to Culloden because it is a revered place and to find their relatives."
Mr MacNeill is absolutely correct. This must be a terrible affront to the Scottish nation. I know little about Scottish history but this must be the most important and revered site in the whole of Scotland.
I don’t know if people north of the border understand the word ‘respect’ but it seems to have disappeared from the dictionary in England!
Speaking of which, has anyone noticed that Gordon Brown has never been to RAF Lyneham for the repatriation of any of the Afghanistan War dead?
While the rest of the nation bow their heads in respect, Gordon should be hanging his in shame!