99 Red Balloons, Three Minute WW1 continues.

“If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go”

It was my daughter’s thirtieth birthday yesterday. 99 Red Balloons was number 1 on the day she was born. Now grown up and left home many years ago, Ruth is a GP in Elgin.

Elgin is a nice wee town in Morayshire, far from Folkestone. in 1915 a soldier from Elgin came through Folkestone on his way to the trenches. sadly along with over 700,000 others he died in the Great War. He is commemorated in a unique way for a WW1 soldier. His name is No. 1011 Serjeant Charles Stewart MacKenzie 6th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders. Charles was born at the high Street in Elgin on the 15th November 1882 and he enlisted in Elgin in 1911. The 6th Seaforth’s were a territorial Battalion and Charles main source of income was as a house painter. Along with the rest of the battalion he was mobilized in 1914 and sent to France in 1915. Wounded in the arm and then killed in action at Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras on April 9th 1917. He is buried in Highland Cemetery Roclincourt, in what was then a standard Imperial War Graves Commission grave. nothing unusual or unique in that.

“Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun”

There is it that though. Serjeant Charles Stewart MacKenzie is the only soldier to have a Scottish Lament written for him. The song was used in the film “We Were Soldiers” .http://youtu.be/ZPr9g3EVz-o

“Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
When they come a wull staun ma groon
Staun ma groon al nae be afraid
Thoughts awe hame tak awa ma fear
Sweat an bluid hide ma veil awe tears
Ains a year say a prayer faur me
Close yir een an remember me
Nair mair shall a see the sun
For a fell tae a Germans gun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Lay me doon in the caul caul groon
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun
Whaur afore monie mair huv gaun

…or you could just release a red balloon for him.

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