DRYBURGH ABBEY AND FIELD MARSHAL EARL DOUGLAS HAIG
I have just returned from a lovely visit to Dryburgh Abbey near Melrose in The Scottish Borders. Here you will find two very famous graves: Sir Walter Scott, the great Scottish Writer of the 1800s from Abbotsford, and Field Marshal Earl Douglas Haig of Bemersyde. They are buried close together lying peacefully in this beautiful place beside The River Tweed.
Douglas Haig had a distinguished yet controversial military career. He commanded The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on The Western Front from late 1915 to the end of The First World War. He was also The Commander at The Battle of Arras in 1917 which has just had its centenary on the 9th April 2017.
There were more than two million British deaths and casualties during the War and Haig’s leadership was severely criticised with him becoming known as ‘Butcher Haig’.
At the end of the War, however, The Earl Haig Fund was established. Countess Haig was instrumental in setting up The Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Scotland. Those disabled by war worked in the factory making poppies for Remembrance Sunday. The factory later became PoppyScotland.
Today, PoppyScotland looks after war veterans and their families. To mark the commemoration of the ending of The First World War, The Marble Sculpture ‘FRANCE 1914’ by Edinburgh based Sculptor, Simon Burns-Cox, will be on display at The Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow from 2017-2018. The Sculpture will then move onto The Riverside Museum, Glasgow for the year 2018-2019. The Sculpture ‘FRANCE 1914’ will then be auctioned in aid of the charity. For early expressions of interest, please contact Simon Burns-Cox or PoppyScotland.