Local soldier honoured in Africa

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Soldiers from the Royal Scots Borderers have paid emotional tributes in Sierra Leone to a Galashiels soldier killed there during the Second World War

Troops from Belfast-based 1 Scots are in the African country helping in the battle against Ebola.

And they gathered at the grave of Frederick Robertson of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

He was attached to the King’s African Rifles as a Lance Serjeant when he died aged 35 on January 10, 1941.

It is men from B Company who are on the deployment – and they include soldiers from Galashiels.

Robertson is buried in King Tom Cemetery in Freetown and that’s where a short ceremony was held by the Scottish soldiers.

Amongst them was Corporal Kieran Haig from Galashiels.

He said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to pay our respects to this fallen soldier who is buried far from home.

“It is an honour to be here today.”

Major Nick Colquhon is the commanding officer of B Company and said the men felt it was a timely tribute.

He added; “On this Armistice Day, as we remember all those who have gone before us, we thought it fitting that we do so at the graveside of one of our regimental family who died here in 1941.

“Lance Serjeant Robertson was born and raised in Galashiels – in the same town and region as a number of those soldiers of B Company who gathered here today.”

Frederick C. Robertson’s well-preserved headstone bears his Army number – 3183608 – and records that he was from the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, attached to the King’s African Rifles. It also records his age and the date of his death.

The Royal Scots Borderers are the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and were formed from a merger between the KOSB and the Royal Scots.