Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Opposition to red coat memorial at Culloden battlefield

Red coats in a BBC reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden
Circle members said there was a grave marker to fallen red coats

A call for a memorial to the government army that fought at Culloden has been opposed by members of a society which recalls the Jacobite cause.

Historian Trevor Royle has said the soldiers should be "dignified by a memorial" on the battlefield.

But members of A Circle of Gentlemen said a monument was a "step too far".

They were opposed because of atrocities committed by the Duke of Cumberland's government troops in the aftermath of the battle on 16 April 1746.

Member Alasdair MacNeill said: "They have a grave marker the same as the Jacobite dead. That should be enough in my view.

"If people wish to leave flowers to remember the government fallen at their graveside then I have no problem with that - I can still respect the dead, be they friend or foe.

"However, the thought of erecting a monument to them is just a step too far."

Battle honour

Other members have posted messages opposing the call on the society's website.

The circle takes its name from a secret society in Edinburgh.

It remained loyal to Charles Edward Stuart - Bonnie Prince Charlie - after the Jacobites' defeat at Culloden and continued to meet late into the 18th Century.

Writing in the National Trust for Scotland's magazine, Mr Royle said little was known of those who served in the red coat regiments.

In the article, he said some of the soldiers went on to play a part in unpleasant aspects of the battle's aftermath. He said it was correct that regiments were not granted Culloden as a battle honour.

However, the military historian said the thousands who fought at Culloden should be remembered because the battle and regiments involved were important to the future development of the nation and the British Army.

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