In the footsteps of a legend

Private Brian Adamson has been reliving the 1645 campaign of the 1st Marquis of Montrose.
Private Brian Adamson has been reliving the 1645 campaign of the 1st Marquis of Montrose.

A MOTHERWELL solder has been following in the footsteps of one of Scotland’s greatest warriors.

Private Brian Adamson (23), who serves with The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), features in BBC2 Scotland’s new documentary ‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’ which tells of the rise and fall of the 17th century general James Graham, the 1st Marquis of Montrose, marking the 400th anniversary of his birth.

In a single year, from the autumn of 1644 to 1645, Montrose won six successive battles against stronger Covenanting armies.

Shown on Friday at 9pm to celebrate St Andrew’s Day, the documentary filmed 20 modern day soldiers, including Brian, as they retraced one of Montrose’s great marches through the mountains of Lochaber as part of a modern military exercise.

Troops from the regulars of 3 SCOTS and the 7 SCOTS territorial battalions, who have their headquarters at Fort George, near Inverness, and Perth respectively, undertook the 39-mile patrol to recreate the march on Inverlochy Castle by Montrose and his Royalist army to face the Covenanter army of the Earl of Argyll in 1645.

At the start of the battle Montrose and his ally, Alasdair MacColla, assembled their troops who were outnumbered two to one by the combined force of Clan Campbell and the Covenanters.

However, the Campbells were routed and lost 1,500 men, while Montrose and MacColla had just four killed and 200 wounded.

Brian, a former Braidhurst High pupil whose grandparents John and Christine still live in Motherwell, said: “The exercise also had a serious training emphasis, as we were tested on tactical navigation, First Aid, patrol endurance, administration in the field, and of course we were able to study lessons from a past military campaign.”

The documentary also makes use of CGI generated battle plans and vivid re-enacted battle footage, and is presented by Professor Ted Cowan of Glasgow University, a leading expert on Montrose.