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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2008, 12:27 GMT
Homecoming year's key battle link
Reconstruction of the Battle of Culloden for the BBC's Battlefield Britain series
Some Scots who fought at Quebec had been at Culloden
A major celebration of all things Scottish will run in the anniversary year of the country's involvement in a key moment in North American history.

Homecoming Scotland in 2009 - backed by public agencies and the Scottish Government - is being targeted at expats in the USA and Canada.

By coincidence next year is the 250th anniversary of the fall of Quebec.

Scottish regiments were heavily involved in the battle which played a role in the birth of Canada.

The Homecoming celebrations, an initiative led by the Scottish Government and supported by EventScotland and VisitScotland, will aim to highlight Scotland's history, achievements and industries.

Next year also marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of bard Robert Burns and it was this event with which Homecoming was set up to co-incide.

Professor James Hunter, of Inverness-based higher education institution UHI, said it was interesting Homecoming Scotland would also come on the landmark anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

I said our French-speaking guide: 'this will be a sensitive issue for you' and he replied: 'don't worry, we are winning now'
Prof James Hunter

Fought on 13 September, 1759, it came during the Seven Years War between Britain and France.

British soldiers under the command of Major-General James Wolfe stormed cliffs, hauling their armaments behind, and forced a French retreat from Quebec.

The 78th Fraser Highlanders was one of the regiments involved. Among its ranks were Jacobites who had fought British Government troops at Culloden in 1746.

Historians credit the fall of Quebec as the beginning of the end of New France - French-held territories in modern day Canada - and the emergence of Quebecois, people who considered themselves neither French nor British.

'More resurgent'

Prof Hunter said: "In the British context, it is really quite remarkable some of these Highland fighters who fought for the British in North America had been in the Jacobite army at Culloden.

"Ten years after Culloden, Highlanders were recruited into the British Army for service in North America - until then Highlanders were seen by the south of Scotland and England as rebels."

Prof Hunter added: "It was successes at places like Quebec, the Highland fighter in his kilt became the absolute archetype of the British military and British Empire."

The director of the UHI Centre for History said he visited the battlefield for a BBC programme several years ago.

He said: "I said to our French-speaking guide: 'this will be a sensitive issue for you' and he replied: 'don't worry, we are winning now'."

Prof Hunter said Homecoming Scotland and the 250th anniversary of the fall Quebec next year will come as French-speaking people were "more resurgent" in their campaign to be independent of the rest of Canada.

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