General Launch

Major General Euan Loudon: Call To Arms!

11 Feb 2015

This is a call to arms to all who have served or have an interest in either the regular or territorial battalions of The Royal Scots Fusiliers, The Highland Light Infantry, The Glasgow Highlanders and The Royal Highland Fusiliers.

Your mission, as individuals, is to raise as much as you can for the Museum Appeal, over the next three calendar years.  For example, if  200 of us achieve a personal target of c£3k; then a huge £600k would have been raised towards the appeal target of £4.5M.

The aim of the Regimental Museum, as an integral part of the rich heritage of Glasgow and Ayrshire, is to preserve, display and interpret for all time the historical records and material culture of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, and its antecedents, in order to perpetuate the memory of past and present deeds of those connected with the regimental family.  The artefacts should be displayed in such a manner that they are of educational and emotional interest to members and former members of the Regiment, the young, the military specialist and historian, tourists visiting Glasgow and the relatives of those who served.

Our Collection is the most important military museum between the Pentland Firth and the Solway Firth.  It tells a compelling story which stretches from 1678 to the present day and it now needs to re-developed and presented in a more modern way which illuminates how ordinary men and women committed extraordinary acts in the service of their country.

We intend to pursue this through a partnership project with Glasgow Life, because the city has a strong and exemplary track record in recent years – plans for the £35M project to make the Kelvin Hall a jewel in the city’s crown were unveiled in June 2013.

From an RHF perspective the sitrep for now is that we have political consensus in both Glasgow and in Ayrshire that this is worthy and necessary project.  We are engaged with the MoD about negotiating an exit from 518 in the early part of the next decade and to do so hopefully with an MoD dowry to help us on our way. We engaged a consultant who helped craft a vision statement which we have discussed with Glasgow Life; they like the interpretative approach and the themes of place, duty, family, science and the challenges and consequences of combat.

The appeal was launched officially in Glasgow City Chambers in November 2014 and the first fundraising event, led by Brigadier Joe d’Inverno, was a dinner in the Trades House which raised £5011.  We have 30 or so volunteers working at 518 helping with a digital register of the artefacts, doing research and preparing events and historical vignettes to keep the website fresh.  We will be using the anniversaries from WW1 as the architecture of a programme of Glasgow and Ayrshire based activities from 2015 to 2018. In 2015 these will centre on:

  • The anniversary of Captain Halswelle’s death
  • Gallipoli landings
  • Pte Angus VC
  • Waterloo 200
  • The start of the Battle of Loos
  • The story of the Anderson Brothers, all four officers in the HLI and all killed in WW1
  • Churchill’s promotion to Lieutenant Colonel and command of 6 RSF

We have also asked Iain Pickard to draw together ideas for some serious fundraising in the South and we intend to engage a professional fundraiser to help lead the work of the appeal committee and work through the myriad of applications that will need to be made to grant making bodies.

The RHF of Canada Council has undertaken to raise £30k for our appeal by 2018.

So, in summary, from this moment onwards please set your mind to working out how, over the next 1000 days, you can raise the money to meet your target.  I have listed below some points of contact should you need to ask follow on questions or if you think of some other way in which you might assist the appeal as a volunteer.

I hope that you will grasp this challenge energetically and do your best.

Yours sincerely,     Euan Loudon

Kelvin Hall

Category: Appeal Update

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