Brigadier defends civilians wearing KOSB cap badges


An ex-commander of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers says he has no problem with relatives of soldiers wearing regimental badges on Remembrance Sunday.

Brigadier Allan Alstead, who is also a regimental trustee, was responding to criticism concerning this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade in Hawick.

In a letter in the Hawick News last week, local resident Alex Burgon wrote he was concerned to see the number of people, whom he said were “obviously not entitled”, wearing the KOSB badge.

Citing what he said were Defence Act protocols regarding the wearing of badges, he added: “I would appeal to all those who consider putting the KOSB badge in their glengarries to have some respect and observe the sanctity of those who gave their lives for your benefit and perhaps wear a clan or some other badge.”

But Brigadier Alstead took a different view, agreeing those sporting KOSB badges may well have included relatives of now deceased former soldiers.

“Those who served in the KOSB are becoming fewer and fewer as the years go on, so I’d personally welcome relatives wearing the KOSB badge as it keeps the memory of the regiment alive – just so long, as the writer [Mr Burgon] suggests, it is done with respect and to honour those who have fallen.”

And he gave as an example, people wearing the medals of late relatives at events: “Many people at the Cenotaph parade in London wear medals from family members,” he added.