Veterans will pay their respects at the Korean War Memorial in West Lothian this weekend


Korean War veterans will gather at the National War Memorial near Bathgate this weekend to honor their fellow soldiers who died during the conflict of the 1950s.

After being behind the creation of the memorial – an arboretum in the Bathgate Hills – the dwindling Scottish Korean Veterans Club has decided to disband.

A final dedication service will take place on Saturday morning at 11 a.m., when the memorial property will be officially handed over to the trustees.

The service will also include representatives from the Korean community and Korean congregations who have supported rededication services in the Bathgate Hills for many years and annually thank the veterans who came to their country over 70 years ago.

Local cadets will also be in attendance as will the administrators led by Korean veteran Major Allan Cameron.

The service is organized
by local Korean War veteran Adam Mackenzie.

Members of the public are also invited to pay tribute to the unique memorial.

Scottish soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the Black Watch and the local King’s Own Scottish Borderers fought with United Nations troops and American forces against Communists and Chinese troops on the Korean Peninsula between 1950 and 1953.

The war has been fought at a stalemate and an armistice divides the peninsula along the 38th parallel to this day.

The memorial, pictured, was established at Witchcraig Wood in the Bathgate Hills by the Lothians and West of Scotland branch of the British Korean Veterans Association in 1994, supported by Linlithgow MP Tam Dalyell, himself a war veteran of Korea, having served as a soldier in the Royal Scots.

The arboretum consists of 1,100 native Scottish trees, each representing a Scotsman killed in the conflict.

In addition, the South Korean government provided seeds for 100 Korean firs which were grown in the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens before being planted in Witchcraig. Each Korean tree represents ten Scottish soldiers killed.

There are two mounds in the symbolic Yin and Yang shape of the Korean flag and a Korean-style shrine that contains boards with the names of the dead.

The directors include local councilors Tom Conn of Labor and curator Charles Kennedy. Others are members of the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

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