Local veterans of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders are being urged to support a bid to create a unique £4m “living history” archive.
The museum and regimental association particularly want to hear from former Argylls men, their families and descendants, who served in the regiment since the Korean War (1950-53).
The aim is to create “a new kind of museum of Scots military heritage for the 21st Century”, with the help of veteran volunteers.
The Thin Red Line Appeal is named after The Argylls’ famous repulse of Russian cavalry at the 1854 Battle of Balaklava (the phrase “Thin Red Line” was coined by pioneering journalist William Howard Russell) and aims to raise up to £2m this year,
Former soldiers, members of the Association and their families are asked to get in contact to tell their stories and to share their letters, memories and artefacts.
With a £4m building and display renewal programme already in motion, the new Museum is set to open in 2019.
It will aim to commemorate the history and sacrifice of the great Scottish regiment, whose battle honours include Balaklava, the Indian Mutiny, the Second Boer War, two World Wars and the Korean War and the local men who fought in its ranks.
They were recruited in areas including Milngavie, Bearsden, Strathblane, Kippen, Fintry and Balfron, from where thousands of young men joined the Argylls in war and peace.
Rob Layden, chief executive of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum said: “One of the purposes of the object is to understand what is out there, what heritage exists within the community that can be used to tell the Argylls’ story.
“We want to record, give advice, and with the appropriate permission use them to tell the regiment’s story both at Stirling Castle and in the Milngavie, Bearsden and West Stirlingshire villages.
“It’s about getting heritage back into the community. Part of HLF funding is about community and people as, heritage, community and people. We want a better understanding of what resources are out there.”
“With the help of the Regimental Association, which is embedded in the Museum, we are looking for people to volunteer and to come in and help us make a record of all things Argyll-related.
He added: “We also want to collaborate with local community groups, by providing additional material, plus help and advice on conservation, both in general and in relation to specific exhibitions.”
Jim Tilly, Secretary of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Association added;
“We have a superlative collection here at the museum but there are gaps.
“We want the whole story to be told. For example we don’t yet fully cover episodes like the peace keeping operation in Northern Ireland, the regiment’s longest engagement, which lasted the 1960s to the 2000s.”
“There’s a lot of information and stories out there, not just with former soldiers but with their friends and families.
“We would like to have more interaction with the public so we have that up to date material in the museum.
“We’d love them to share it with us so we can put it all out there.”
The Museum renewal programme will be part funded by the Thin Red Line Appeal, under the patronage of HRH The Earl of Strathearn, as Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge is known in Scotland.
Do you have memories, stories, photographs, artefacts, or other militaria related to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders you would like to share with the Argylls Museum?
Contact the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum, The Castle, Stirling FK8 1EH (01786 475165).