Crucial history

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It surprised me not that 40 per cent of young Britons do not know of the Battle of Britain, as stated in the opinion poll commissioned by the RAF BF ahead of the anniversary (your report, 10 July).

History should be commemorated to raise awareness of the importance of past events, such as the recent commemorations of D-Day and the Battle of Waterloo.

However, how many Scots, young or old, know of the importance of the Battle of Carham (1018), and will Scotland commemorate this pivotal event in our history?

The victorious Scottish 
forces were led by Malcolm II, and Owen the Bald, King of Strathclyde.

It was the decisive factor in settling the easterly part of the Scottish border and for the inclusion of Strathclyde into Scotland and subsequently for the annexing of Lothian and establishing the Scottish Border at the River Tweed.

Without Carham there would be no Scotland. Neither Edinburgh nor Glasgow would have been included in a Scotland whose southern border was north of the Forth and Clyde divide.

Thus by the sword and astute politics, Malcom became, as described in his obituary, the King of Scotia, the first time that this term had been applied to Scotland rather than that portion of Ireland from whence came the Dalriadic Scots.

Scotland gave up its independence voluntarily in 1707.

Let us not forget our history, either voluntarily or otherwise, and let us prepare to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the birth of our nation, as forged by Malcolm on the anvil of Carham.

(Prof) Ario Santini

Inglis Green Road

Edinburgh

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