A MEMORIAL commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden has been desecrated, writes Bob Burgess.
The brass plaque was erected a month ago and was the first in a series of initiatives building up to the anniversary on September 9.
Scotland’s army was trounced by the English under the Earl of Surrey on the battlefield at Branxton over the Tweed from Coldstream in 1513.
King James IV and much of Scotland’s leading nobility died. Troops who had rallied around the king came from all over Scotland and many Borderers were killed.
The dead of both nations are remembered at a ceremony during Coldstream Civic Week while a separate ceremony is held on the anniversary of the battle each year to honour the Scots who perished.
The 10x8 inch plaque was ripped from a fence protecting an oak sapling planted by Dr Chris Burgess, president of the Till Valley Archaeological Society
Blair of Kelso were responsible for the inscription. The vandalism has stunned the Coldstream-based 1513 Club.
Chairman James Bell commented: “I am shocked by this desecration. We on the Scottish side view the site as a war grave. The scrap value would be just a few pounds but the emotional value is immense.”
“It is a sad reflection on our society that someone could stoop to such a low act.”
Maureen Charlton, secretary of the Till Valley Archaeological Society, also condemned the vandalism.
She commented: “This is desecration of a memorial to the dead of both nations.”
Major projects are underway to commemorate the anniversary of the battle.