Town to commemorate First World War soldiers who made lasting impact on community

PUBLISHED: 11:26 29 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:26 29 June 2018

The Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: The Barber family

The Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: The Barber family


A Norfolk town is set to remember a British Army Regiment which made a big impact on local communities when its soldiers were station there during the First World War.

The Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: J SmithThe Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: J Smith

In 1915 two regiments of the Lovat Scouts - a Scottish Highland Yeomanry regiment - were based in North West Norfolk.

One was stationed in the Houghton, Massingham and Harpley area and another in Hunstanton.

Under the command of Brigadier Lord Lovat the soldiers arrived in the area to carry out coastal watch duties, in case of invasion, and to prepare for a posting to the Western Front.

Made up of Scottish estate workers from the Highlands, the soldiers introduced their culture to the towns and villages in which they stayed.

The Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: The Barber familyThe Lovat Scouts at Hunstanton. Picture: The Barber family

They wore traditional Highland outfits, performed concerts with bagpipes and recited Gaelic poetry.

As part of a series of events entitled Hunstanton Remembers, an event is being held on Sunday to remember the Lovat Scouts.

John Smith, event organiser, said: “The Lovat Scouts were only present in North West Norfolk for about five months but while they were here they were no ordinary soldiers.

“Lord Lovat stayed in Norfolk with them and encouraged them to do all things Scottish. For that short period they were very much part of the local scene.”

To prepare for their believed posting to the Western Front, the Lovat Scouts constructed 14 acres of trenches on Docking Common, some of which still remain.

This site, Dreamy Hollow Campsite and Trenches, will be the venue for the commemoration event.

The soldiers were not sent to the Western Front but were posted to Gallipoli at Suvla Bay where many of them were killed in battle or died from diseases such as dysentery.

A memorial to the men who helped to dig the trenches and who did not return home has been constructed and will be unveiled by the Bishop of Lynn, the Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick, during the event.

Starting at 1.45pm there will be a concert including bagpipers and a sing-along with the Kings Swingers.

Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Grenville Jonston, who is the last surviving serving member of the Lovat Scout Veterans, will also be there.

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