Monday, 11 April 2011

Telling tales of Blair Atholl soldier Donald McBeath - Talk on Wednesday 13th April at Blair Atholl

From today's Courier

Telling tales of Blair Atholl soldier Donald McBeath:

The life of the soldier whose striking image adorns the "Welcome to Blair Atholl" road sign will be commemorated at a talk this week.

By Alan Richardson
Published in the Courier : 11.04.11

Blair Atholl celebrates famous son Donald McBeath

Atholl Highlander, Donald McBeath became known as ‘the Father of the Highlanders' and is fondly thought of throughout the area.

Atholl Country Life Museum will host Jane Anderson from the Blair Castle Archives in the Atholl Arms Hotel, on Wednesday, at 7.30pm, to tell the story of his life. Admission is £4.

Born in 1831, eight miles into the hills from Blair Atholl at Ruidhe na Coillich almost in the shadow of Ben a ghlo, he started work at an early age herding cattle and as a ploughman.

After gaining distinction in his youth in the Crimean War as a sharp shooter and for saving life under fire, he then became an Atholl gamekeeper.

The Duke of Atholl appointed him sergeant major in his private army, the Atholl Highlanders, and as part of an escort party to Queen Victoria through Glen Tilt, the monarch noted in her diary "he was a man of presence and a fine-looking man, as all the Duke's men are".

The museum's John Cameron said, "By the telling of Donald's story in this the 100th anniversary of his death, he will not only be known as a Highlander on a road sign but will become alive and recognised as a remarkable character in Atholl's heritage."

Mr Cameron is also keen to hear from any possible descendants of Donald McBeath.

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