A MAJOR new documentary airs tonight (Friday) featuring a Linlithgow soldier following in the tracks of ‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’.
Private Stuart Dodgeson (24) pictured right, from Linlithgow, serves with The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, and he was one of 20 modern day soldiers, retracing the 17th century general, James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose, on one of his great marches through Lochaber, as part of a military exercise.
From 1644-1645, Montrose won six successive battles against stronger Covenanting armies, making him arguably Scotland’s greatest battlefield commander, and one of the finest in Europe.
Private Dodgeson, a former pupil at Linlithgow Academy, said: “I took part in the Exercise Montrose March to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose in October 1612.
‘‘Troops from the regulars of 3 SCOTS and the 7 SCOTS territorials undertook the 39-mile patrol to recreate the march on Inverlochy Castle by Montrose and his Royalist army to face the Earl of Argyll in 1645.”
Stuart, who joined the Army in 2011, added: “We were tested on tactical navigation, First Aid, patrol endurance, field administration, and could study lessons from a past military campaign.”
The Marquis of Montrose took to the Scottish hills in deep winter, travelling from Loch Ness to Glen Tarff, turning south west to march parallel to the Great Glen, heading for Inverlochy Castle.
When dawn broke, Montrose and his ally, Alasdair MacColla, assembled their troops who were outnumbered two to one by the combined force of Clan Campbell and the Covenanters.
In a strategic move, Montrose placed Clan MacDonald, sworn enemies of the Campbells, at the centre of his army, to devastating effect.
The Campbell clan was routed and lost 1500 men, while Montrose and MacColla had only four killed and 200 wounded.
‘Scotland’s Greatest Warrior’ will be shown on BBC2 at 9pm today (Friday).