Black Watch War Memorial by William Birnie Rhind, RSA, 1873-1933. Unveiled 1910. Bronze on a polished red granite base with the Black Watch crest above a bronze relief and bronze lettering. Junction of North Bank Street and Market Street, the Mound, Edinburgh. Click on images to enlarge them.

The Black Watch War Memorial, commemorating men from this famous Highland infantry regiment who died in the Boer War of 1899-1902, is prominently placed on a site donated” by the Bank of Scotland in 1906 (see "The Black Watch War Memorial"). It is striking from any angle. [continued below]

The figure itself is over 11' tall, and was described in the Scotsman of 25 May 1910 as "a piece of strong and picturesque modelling. He stands firmly on his left foot, and with his right slightly bent, he is resting both arms on his rifle in a characteristic attitude" (see "Boer War Memorial"). Closer up, the relief below the figure is equally if not more striking, with kilted Highlanders advancing towards and taking up firing positions at a ridge, at the command of (perhaps) Major General Andrew Gilbert Wauchope, whose name stands at the head of the list of fallen soldiers. Wauchope, who was tall, thin and sharp-featured like this figure (see Carlyle and Stearn), was killed at Magersfontein in command of his brigade in 1899. The names of the fallen are given on the south side of the monument; those who died of disease on the north side. Around two hundred names are given in all. Because King Edward VII had died earlier in the month (May) there was no ceremony to mark the unveiling. However, it is one of Rhind's most impressive public works.

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Photographs by Tim Willasey-Wilsey. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL.]


"The Black Watch War Memorial" (Edinburgh City Council site). Viewed 2 January 2010.

"Boer War Memorial to the Black Watch, Edinburgh, c.1910" (Victorian Wars Forum site). Viewed 2 January 2010.

Carlyle, E. I. , rev. Roger T. Stearn. "Wauchope, Andrew Gilbert (1846-1899)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Viewed 2 January 2010.

Last modified 14 March 2015