Korean War memorial in Bathgate ‘too difficult to find’

The Scottish Korean War Memorial, near Bathgate, West Lothian. Picture: Craig Halkett/JP License

The Scottish Korean War Memorial, near Bathgate, West Lothian. Picture: Craig Halkett/JP License

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A NATIONAL memorial to Scots soldiers killed in the Korean War is failing to attract visitors as it is not adequately sign posted, trustees have claimed.

The group tasked with maintaining the monument wrote to Transport Scotland asking for improved signage to its location near Bathgate, West Lothian.

Major Allan Cameron, chairman of its trustees, claimed veterans’ families had been unable to pay their respects because they couldn’t find the Scottish Korean War Memorial, which was rededicated in 2013 to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the conflict.

He wrote to Transport Scotland asking for clearer signage on nearby trunk roads so that visitors don’t get lost on their way to the shrine.

“This is a place of homage, for people to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

But the agency turned down his request, citing restrictions on the number of signs on major roads.

The location of the Scottish Korean War Memorial in the Bathgate Hills was originally chosen as it reminded veterans of the terrain they had fought on.

The site is planted with Korean firs and Scottish trees which represent those who died.

The current memorial was unveiled in 2013 and replaced an earlier monument on the same site.

READ MORE: The last Scottish survivors of the Korean War tell their experiences of battle

Almost 1,110 British troops, 236 of them Scottish, were killed in the Korean War from 1950-1953. More than 10,000 soliders and sailors from Scotland served.

A Transport Scotland spokeswoman said: “We appreciate that Major Cameron is disappointed by this decision but unfortunately it is not possible to sign every destination from the trunk road network. In this case, signs will be put up for the memorial on local roads.

“The number of signs on the motorway network has to be strictly controlled because driver distraction can cause accidents and have serious consequences due to the high speeds involved.”

The conflict in Korea is referred to by veterans as the ‘Forgotten War’. Many believe it came too hard on the heels of the Second World War for politicians to sensibly commemorate the fallen, and too confusing for a war-weary public.

The war broke out when communist forces in the north of the country invaded the south, which was backed by the US and UK.

When the Allies pushed the communists back, China joined the war and advanced south towards Seoul. The 1953 armistice divided the country in two, creating a pro-communist state in the north and pro-Western state in the south - a situation which persists today.

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