MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE KING’S OWN SCOTTISH BORDERERS ASSOCIATION HELD AT THE SCOTS GUARDS CLUB, EDINBURGH AT 1030 HOURS – SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2018
Colonel A J Loudon MBE (President – KOSB Association) Brigadier F A L Alstead CBE DL MPhil (Trustee – KOSB Association) Major D P Sturrock TD WS (Trustee – KOSB Association) Mr P A Walton (Secretary – KOSB Association)
Association Members x 20
Lieutenant Colonel R S Combe MBE (Vice-Chairman – KOSB Association)
Major A G Horsburgh (Trustee – KOSB Association)
Major R H Edlmann (Trustee – KOSB Association)
I McLeod C Bain, Hawick Branch
R Rae, Dumfries Branch
6th Battalion Reunion Club
2. Chairman’s Welcome
The President welcomed those attending, appreciating that some attendees had travelled a considerable distance to attend the meeting.
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting
Minutes of the previous KOSB Association AGM held on Saturday 16th September 2017 at the Scots Guards Club, Edinburgh were read and passed as a true record. Proposer: Major Ken Fraser, Seconded: Junior Reid.
4. Matters Arising
5. KOSB Association Accounts
Major Sturrock presented and explained the KOSB Association accounts for the year ending 31st December 2017 (see attached). These were in the form of a shortened version completed by Greaves West & Ayre (Berwick) and had been approved by the KOSB Association Trustees. As the presented documents were an extracted summary of the full accounts they were unable to be officially published, a link to the OSCAR website would allow access to the full accounts. These were subsequently accepted by those attending.
a. The President explained that the current fund is eroding under the original one day’s pay giving scheme and that the fund was losing approximately £20,000 per annum. As the ‘one day’s pay’ giving scheme ceased several years ago, the reliance for income was now placed on portfolio management, legacies and subscriptions. The KOSB Trustees would wish to ensure support for Borderers until 2050; our finances could possibly be depleted by 2030 if no change to the current policy were undertaken. It was noted that Cameronian funds ceased to exist within 50 years after the disbandment of the Regiment’s only battalion.
b. The current financial position was unsustainable and therefore a review of subscriptions was required to ensure the financial sustainability of funds. The President proposed that a standardised annual subscription by members should be raised to £25.00 per annum, which would generate £12,500, in addition to Gift Aid which would recoup further revenue from HMRC. This proposal would therefore ensure the continuance of the Association Secretary role and maintain the benevolence requirements of the Association for a longer period of time.
c. Those attending the AGM agreed to the new increased proposal, and Branches would be approached in due course for comments and views from their respective members.
d. Kevin Pope highlighted that the Gordon Highlanders had increased their income by £327,000 by holding large scale events (rugby, golf, coffee mornings, whisky raffle at Murrayfield, etc) and questioned whether the Edinburgh area could host similar events. .The President would discuss these suggestions with Grant Horsburgh (Edinburgh Branch).
e. Andy Middlemiss voiced concern regarding the mechanics of operating the proposed subscription membership data base and notifying members of the new changes. It was proposed that a KOSB Association membership stand could be made available at the next Minden Day parade to encourage those Borderers who are not members of the Association to apply for membership. John Craig noted that the two KOSB Facebook sites could be exploited to inform potential members.
7. Association Constitution
This had been updated by the President, Russell Combe and David Sturrock. Paragraph 9 to be ratified and signed, and it would be circulated via the KOSB website.
8. Benevolence and Awards
a. Andy Middlemiss presented an overview of the mechanics of how finance was granted to those requesting assistance. Although the number of claimants is currently showing a downward trend and was certainly down on the previous year, cases are now becoming more complicated and often encompass a multitude of issues. T
b. Those requesting assistance are now becoming younger with a family whilst the average case worker is now seventy years of age. Andy requested for individuals to consider volunteering to assist as case workers for their local SSAFA Branch where possible.
9. President’s Update
a. Minden Day 2018. Unfortunately the Inter Scaldis Band from the Netherlands were unable to attend this year due to a large number of their personnel taking annual holiday over the period of the Minden Day Parade, thereby not making it cost effective for the small remaining number to attend. It is hoped the Inter Scaldis Band will be able to attend the Minden Day celebrations on Saturday 27th July 2019. The 2020 Minden Day Parade will take place on Saturday 1st August.
b. WW1 Commemorations. Andy Middlemiss presented an overview of the recent KOSB trip to Ypres which included a visit to the grave of the last known Borderer to fall; Private Lambie who was killed on 31st October 1918. Three serving soldiers from 1 SCOTS alongside Association members laid a wreath at the Menin Gate accompanied by music from the Inter Scaldis Band who had travelled from Holland. The President expressed his gratitude to Andy, John Ross and Euan Scroggie for all their hard work in organising four comprehensive tours to commemorate Borderers who fought and fell during the major battles of WW1.
c. It was proposed that a further visit to the Netherlands may be organised to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Arnhem and Flushing. Lt Col Peter McCutcheon to be approached to outline an initial itinerary and to gauge possible interest.
d. The President thanked all those who attended the Louis McGuffie VC commemorations held at Wigtown on 28th September. There had been an excellent turnout by Borderers to commemorate the last KOSB VC recipient of WW1. The Association had commissioned a presentation frame comprising of McGuffie’s replica medals, photograph and VC citation which was presented to Wigtown Town Council in recognition of their support and organisation of this event.
e. Kevin Pope thanked all members who had made financial donations to the refurbishment of the Victoria Falls WW1 Memorial in Zambia. The refurbishment had now been completed and Kevin intends to travel to Zambia to lay a KOSB wreath at the memorial during the re-dedication service in November.
f. Allan Alstead informed those attending that the “Aftermath Exhibition” currently on display in The Barracks, Berwick would close on Sunday 11th November 2018.
g. The Association had secured seventy five tickets to attend the forthcoming London Cenotaph Service and march past on 11th November 2018.
h. Museum Update. Mr Ian Martin the KOSB Museum archivist is currently on long term sick leave and a return date is not forecast The President and trustees send their best wishes to Ian for a successful and speedy recovery.
i. The President expressed his gratitude to all those who assisted in staffing the museum and maintaining access for the public throughout the summer opening period. Thank you to Dr Yvonne McEwan and Allan Alstead on organising the very successful “Aftermath Exhibition”.
j. After the recent resignation of Dr Stuart Allen as museum mentor, a new successor had been secured and details would be available at a later date.
k. Discussions regarding the future options of The Barracks and the KOSB museum as part of a Berwick Heritage Hub are still ongoing via BAMAG. Submission of a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funding application has temporarily been postponed, however the museum remaining within The Barracks is secure.
l. Borderers Chronicle. The Secretary requested articles, notices, obituaries etc to be forwarded for inclusion in the forthcoming 2018 Chronicle.
m. Association Events. The funeral of Sgt Bill Speakman VC at the Wren Chapel, Royal Hospital Chelsea had been extremely well attended by Borderers, Hospital In Patients, family, and members of the VC & GC Association. The bearer party consisted of 6 x SNCO’s from 1 SCOTS all of whom were originally KOSB. The Last Post was played by Ron Creasey and Blue Bonnets was played by Pipe Major Willie Cochrane. It is intended that Bill’s medals will be donated to the KOSB museum and placed on display.
n. Norham. Association Vice-Chairman Russell Combe and members of the Berwick Branch attended a short commemorative service for Piper Daniel Laidlaw VC at Norham Parish Church on 25th September 2018 where a wreath was laid by Jimmy Mercer. The President thanked Mrs Esther Crawford for organising the recent Malaya Veterans Reunion Dinner held in Peebles on 13th September 2018.
o. KOSB Website. The President reported that the website was working well and encouraged all members to use this forum as a means of communicating future events and relevant notices.
10. Branch and Reunion Reports
Branch reports were received from the following:
Dumfries Hawick Lanarkshire Northern Ireland Stranraer 4th Battalion 6th Battalion
The President and Major Ken Fraser requested members to consider volunteering at the museum in Berwick to assist the small group of individuals currently maintaining the quality of the exhibits. Those members who have provided voluntary assistance to staff the museum throughout the summer have found this to be a rewarding and interesting experience. For further information please contact the Association Secretary.
12. Forecast of Forthcoming Events
a. Sunday 11th November 2018: London Cenotaph.
b. Friday 23rd November 2018: Cruickshank Dinner. Buccleuch Arms Hotel, St. Boswells.
c. Friday 30th November 2018: Retired Military Personnel Briefing. Craigiehall, Edinburgh. 27th July 2019: Minden Day. Berwick upon Tweed.
a. Historical Investigations – Northern Ireland: The President requested individuals to notify the Association at the earliest opportunity should they be contacted by the NI Investigation Team, he assured those present that no personal details will be given to the investigation team by the Association unless it is a legal requirement. Brian McLeod advised that members should respond to any communication received from a coroners’ court regarding the investigation and notify the Association accordingly.
b. Kevin Pope requested that more emphasis be placed on Edinburgh as opposed to London being the focal point for future Remembrance commemorations, particularly 2019. The President explained that it was an individuals’ choice to attend a location of his choosing and that no emphasis had been placed on members to attend events at the London Cenotaph. The majority of those attending in London currently reside within easier travelling distance to London rather than Edinburgh.
c. Those applying for a new driving licence and having stated that they are an ex-serviceman will note that the new licence will be annotated with a ‘V’. This will allow discounts to be obtained from numerous outlets when produced. It was requested this information be forwarded to Peter Hogg for inclusion on the website.
d. Stranraer Branch will notify the Association Secretary of a future Mulberry Harbour event.
e. Andy Middlemiss informed members that a new KOSB song had been recorded, it was proposed that the writer would perform this at Minden Day 2019.
f. Andy Middlemiss proposed a vote of thanks to the President for his management of the Association during the past year, which as passed.
14. Date and location of next meeting
Dumfries Branch to host. Date to be confirmed (possibly Saturday 28th September 2019
Formal meeting closed at 12.45 pm.