Back Soldier retraces march of Scotland’s greatest Warrior

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BACK Army officer Major Crawford Maclellan (48) who serves with 51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (7 SCOTS) is to feature in a forthcoming major new history documentary on BBC2 Scotland – ‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’.

The documentary tells the rise and fall of the 17th century general, the 1st Marquis of Montrose, who was born in October 1612.

Produced by Caledonia TV, the programme also filmed 20 modern day soldiers – all members of The Royal Regiment of Scotland – as they retraced one of Montrose’s great marches through the mountains of Lochaber as part of a modern military exercise.

In a single year, from the autumn of 1644 to 1645, Montrose won six successive battles against stronger Covenanting armies.

Major Maclellan, who joined the Territorial Army battalion in 1987 and was commissioned in 1990, said: “I took part in Exercise Montrose March earlier this year to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose in 1645.

“The Exercise also had a serious training emphasis, as we tested the marching troops in tactical navigation, First Aid, patrol endurance, administration in the field; and of course we were all able to study lessons from a past military campaign.

“The Marquis of Montrose took to the Scottish hills in the depths of winter. From Loch Ness his army entered Glen Tarff, turning south west to march parallel to the Great Glen.”

Major Maclellan, a keen mountaineer, and a member of the Lewis and Harris Search and Rescue Team, continued: “During the march Montrose’s troops encountered and killed a number of soldiers from the Covenanter army.

“The survivors fled to Inverlochy with the news that Montrose was marching on the castle. Having been delayed to allow the slower part of the force to catch up, Montrose cross the Spean and led his army towards the Inverlochy fortification.

“Nowadays the Scottish soldier can deploy to battle by helicopter in the air assault role, by armoured fighting vehicle, by boat, or on foot,” he went on.
“He benefits from Scotland having some of the most challenging training environments in the world, which can prepare soldiers for operating in hostile regions across the globe.

“This is typified by the areas which Montrose passed through on his way to Inverlochy Castle.”

A banker at the Stornoway RBS branch in his civilian life, Crawford is married to Shona and together they have two children, Cameron (11) and seven year old Robert.

‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’ will be screened on BBC2 Scotland at 9pm on St Andrew’s Day, Friday November 30th.