The Black Watch and the Great War: Rediscovered Histories

  • Patrick, D. J. (Speaker)
  • Fraser Brown (Speaker)
  • Stewart Couper (Speaker)
  • Paul Philippou (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar


The Annual General Meeting of the Abertay Historical Society will take place at 6pm on Wed 11 May in Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee. Following the formal business, we will have a presentation at 6.30pm on The Black Watch in the Great War: Rediscovered Histories by Paul Philippou, Norman Fraser Brown, Derek Patrick and Stewart Coupar.

Paul will introduce the recent publication The Black Watch in the Great War. Fraser will talk about Latin American volunteers who returned to Scotland and joined the Black Watch. Derek will talk about Kitchener’s New Armies, focusing on the 9th Black Watch at Loos. Stewart will talk about the Labour battalion (a lesser known battalion that consisted of men who were not considered A1 and suitable for frontline service) and will also perform pipe tunes played by Black Watch pipers during the war.

Dr Paul S Philippou

Dr Paul Philippou is Honorary Research Fellow in History at the University of Dundee, a member of the Centre for Scottish Culture and joint editor/coordinator of The Soutar Project (the publication of the complete poetry and prose of William Soutar). He is the author of seven books which cover a range of historical and literary themes from Walter Scott to the Spanish Civil War. He is a regular contributor to the Journal of Scottish Labour History wherein he draws upon his PhD thesis (University of Dundee) on the labour and trade union movement in Scotland, c1867-c1922. He is currently writing a chapter of a book for the Prometheus Research Institute (Cyprus) on the politics of the Cypriot diaspora in Britain, 1926-72.

Dr Norman Fraser Brown

Dr Norman Fraser Brown MLitt (Dundee), BA Hons (Stirling) FSA Scot, joined The Black Watch in 1962 as a Junior Soldier and served for six years. He graduated from Stirling in 1975 and taught in secondary and special education in Stirling where he was both head teacher and education officer, and was involved in training probationer teachers in Scotland, as well as EFL teacher training in Pakistan and post-communist Romania. On retiral, he and Ronnie Proctor delivered Your School, The Black Watch and the Great War outreach programme to schools in the regimental area. He has contributed several chapters to Great War publications, and current research interests include the impact of the Great War on the Scottish communities of Latin America.

Stewart Coupar

Stewart Coupar was brought up in the village of Fowlis Wester and was educated in Crieff. He joined the Army in 1992 and served with The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. He now works in the Local and Family History Department in the A K Bell Library, Perth. He is married and has three children. He had a number of relatives who served with The Black Watch during the Great War, including his great uncle Jim, from Lour near Forfar, who was a sergeant in the 5th Battalion and who went to France with them in 1914.

Dr Derek Patrick

Derek J Patrick is a Lecturer in History at the University of St Andrews where in 2002 he gained a PhD for his thesis on the Scottish Parliament 1689-1702. He has published several articles on early modern Scotland but has a keen interest in the First World War. With Dr William Kenefick he was a founding member of the Great War Dundee Commemorative Project, is part of the Gateways to the First World War research network, and a former academic adviser to the BBC’s World War One at Home project. He has a longstanding interest in The Black Watch and is an associate member of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) Association. His great grandfather, S-9242 Private John Patrick, 9th Black Watch, was killed in action on the Somme on 9 September 1916.

Non members are welcome to attend.
Period11 May 2022
Held atAbertay Historical Society, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionRegional