In Scotland, Lieutenant Colonel Sir George McCrae instigated a new battalion in the Royal Scots: the 16th (Service) Battalion, to be formed in Edinburgh. Amongst the first to join was every eligible member of the Heart of Midlothian football team.
The enlistment of their sporting heroes acted as a great incentive to the supporters and the battalion was swiftly brought up to strength. Even supporters of rivals Hibernian decided to put aside their animosity and join the ranks, and they were joined by footballers and fans from other local clubs of all levels. The 16th Bn Royal Scots soon became known as: Sir George McCrae’s Sporting Battalion.
The cairn is constructed from Morayshire stone carried from Scotland and erected on site by Scottish craftsmen. It was unveiled on the 7th November 2004 by Sir George’s grandsons, George McCrae and Ken Hall in the presence of Scottish and local officials with Major General Mark Strudwick, Colonel of the Royal Scots, giving the main address.
A sealed lead ‘time capsule’ lies in the heart of the cairn. It contains (among other items) a list of Royal Scots dead, a copy of McCrae’s Battalion (By Jack Alexander) and a Princess Mary tobacco-tin full of soil from the Colonel McCrae’s Edinburgh grave.