Fifty years on, Prince Charles re-does the honours at Powrie Brae war memorial

PRINCE Charles joined Second World War veterans to mark the restoration of a famous army memorial.

The service, held yesterday on Powrie Brae on the outskirts of Dundee, included a re-dedication for a bronze statue of a Black Watch soldier.

It came 50 years after the Queen Mother unveiled the original memorial.

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The prince was welcomed to the service by Dundee Lord Provost John Letford, before sitting through the half-hour ceremony conducted jointly by Reverend Vincent Logan, Bishop of Dunkeld, Canon Peter Allen and Reverend Bob Wightman, Dundee Combined Forces Association Chaplain.

Later the royal chatted with Black Watch veterans including retired 90-year-old Sergeant Major George Grant MBE, from Dundee, who was at Dunkirk during the war and also saw action in Africa and Italy.

He said: "I thought it went very well, and I was very pleased that Charles took time to go around and speak to the veterans.

"He was asking about our military service and what part of the world we're from. I think the statue is very good."

Retired Colonel Ian Critchley, who lives near Crieff, saw action in France and Germany during Second World War, also chatted with the Prince.

The colonel said later: "It was marvellous to see so many old friends here paying their respects to the memory of those left behind.

"I think the memorial has been brilliantly done. I've always thought it was a marvellous sight and a brilliant idea that his back is to Angus and it's on the border between Angus and Dundee, looking over Dundee and on to the far hills of Fife, the recruiting areas for the regiment."

Serving Black Watch soldiers from the Third Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Territorial Army soldiers and members of the local cadet force joined veterans and their families at the event.

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Other dignitaries included Angus Provost Ruth Melville and local MPs Jim McGovern and Stewart Hosie.

Urgent restoration was required to stop the memorial deteriorating beyond repair, and around 12,000 was raised by Grant Aid and Black Watch Association fundraising to restore the statue.

The restoration work included repairs to the stonework of the platform and the cleaning and re-waxing of the bronze statue which depicts a soldier wearing Black Watch World War Two battle dress tunic and Black Watch kilt.

It commemorates the sacrifice of more than 440 soldiers of the Fourth and Fifth Battalion Black Watch who were killed in the war.