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Raising Our Local Regiment: Alan Breck's Prestonpans Volunteers

Taking the King's / Queen's Shilling

One of the most significant lessons just learnt in our 2007 re-enactments, notwithstanding the excellent contributions of the re-enactors who visit with us, is that there will always be a need for auxiliaries and volunteers to balance up events and to undertake roles between the main anniversary each September. Recognising this, the Trustees are delighted to confirm that at the Command of HRH Prince Charles Edward at Holyroodhouse Palace on September 21st 2007 a new Regiment is to be raised in The Pans. Its title has been carefully chosen as:

Alan Breck's Prestonpans Volunteers

The name adopted is intended to reflect Alan Breck's factitious [see The National Archives of Scotland for the fact and the fiction] swashbuckling role in Stevenson's Kidnapped and Catriona where he confessed to being a Redcoat first, then changing sides at Prestonpans to fight for The Prince and finally accepting a commission in the French Army. The most recent interpretation of Breck alongside young heir David Balfour of Shaw was given by Iain Glen for the BBC and made in New Zealand in 2005, of which he later remarked to Scotland on Sunday: "I hugely enjoyed that role. There was a lot of laughter and fun and I hope that comes through. We felt very on-song as a unit when we did it." That sounds on-song for the new regiment alright! Iain Glen is pictured below as he came aboard ship for his first meeting with David Balfour.

Iain Glen has been preceded by many great names in film versions - including Peter Finch, Michael Caine, David MacCallum and Trevor Howard. Walt Disney made its version in 1960. It's clearly something a great many people wish to be associated with.

2007 has just seen Kidnapped as the chosen novel for Edinburgh's UNESCO City of Literature Year. A graphic edition of the book has been wondrously created by Cam Kennedy's artwork.

Recruitment is now begun ...

All existing registered online 'Supporters' of the campaign are being invited to enlist for the King's / Queen's shilling - Hanoverian, Stuart or Bourbon as they may wish. Between October now and September 2008 the Regiment will come to terms with its banner, its uniforms and badges. Next year's re-enactments will be the first occasion it will take to the field. Those who took to the field this year as 'auxilliaries in support of the Glenbuckets' have already been accorded pride of place in the Regiment. Adam Watters who has been associated with the Trust since its inception has been placed in charge of training.

N.B. Ladies are just as welcome as men to serve in the Regiment; or in the even more significant role as camp followers.

All reading this NewNet who wish to Take the Shilling should please be in touch directly to

Trustees of the Battle Heritage Trust

Published Date: October 5th 2007

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