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Secret Destinations

The Scottish Korean War Memorial and the Refuge Stone

Scots and North Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder in many campaigns.

Scottish Korean War Memorial 
At the south-west corner of Beecraigs Country Park in West Lothian, nestling among the Bathgate, is a small pantiled wooden pagoda. Around it lies a garden landscaped with the Ying and Yang which appear on the Korean flag and this garden is planted with one hundred and ten Korean pine trees, one tree for every ten men from British regiments who fell in the conflict between 1950 and 1953. For each and every man, there grows a native birch tree, 1090 birches in total.

A path known as United Nations Avenue leads off to the right, edged by twenty one saplings, one for each of the countries involved as part of the United Nations force.

The name of each British soldier who gave his life is inscribed inside the pagoda and, although it is over 50 years since the end of this conflict, from time to time memorial poppies still appear beside individual names, tributes from relatives or friends who have come to this place of memories. Individual crosses and small memorials are to be found here and there.

memorial crosses with poppies at the Scottish Korean War Memorial
The overall impression is of oneness with nature. The garden blends imperceptibly into the hillside behind, and there is a great sense of peace.

If the Korean War is part of your family history, it is well worth a visit. Enjoy the calm of the garden or walk up the hill for breath-taking views.

If you follow the path onwards and upwards, you will come to a wall in which is embedded a refuge stone. To find our more about the refuge stones and their link with the nearby village of Torphichen and the Preceptory of the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, look out for the next newsletter.