Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Scottish Korean War Memorial

Last weekend I went for a walk in the Bathgate Hills and discovered this little known war memorial,which due to recent events in South Korea I thought appropriate to share with a wider audience.Erected in memory to those who were killed in the Korean War 1950-53 it is situated in the Bathgate Hills near to Beecraigs Park.Built in traditional Korean style,the small wooden pagoda is surrounded by 110 Korean pine trees (one for every ten Britons who died in the conflict), 1090 Birch trees (one for each of the fallen) and picnic tables along a pathway named United Nations Avenue. This avenue is surrounded by 21 trees, representing the twenty-one nations involved in the UN force in Korea. Inside the pagoda contains lists of those who died in the conflict.  More than 200 Scots were killed.The pagoda,erected in 2000 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the war is soon to be demolished and replaced with a new one.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Martinmas 11 November

Today is not only Armistice,Remembrance and Veterans Day but also the feast of St Martin. Originally cattle were slaughtered and salted for the winter and Border Reiving was at its peak between Michaelmas 29Sept and Martinmas 11 Nov.This was one of the old Scottish quarter days of the year on which certain payments,rent and interest were due and leases began and ended. Contracts of employment also started and terminated on this day and were regular events in the countryside and towns. The Term Days Whitsun and Martinmas together with Candlemas and Lammas constituted the Quarter days. In 1886 term dates for removals and the hiring of servants in towns changed to 28 November. The Old Scottish term days were finally regulated to the 28 Feb,May.Aug and November by the Term and Quarter Days (Scotland) Act 1990. Martinmas is still remembered as the first or autumn term in the universities of St Andrews and Glasgow.