Remembering the fallen of Falkirk Muir

The Battlefield Monument at Greenbank Road, Falkirk.
The Battlefield Monument at Greenbank Road, Falkirk.

Tomorrow sees the annual commemoration of the 1746 Battle of Falkirk Muir take place at the Battlefield Monument on Greenbank Road.

An ecumenical service to remember the many hundreds of victims of both sides will be held at 2pm.

The event marks the anniversary of the January 17 clash between the Hanoverian and Jacobite armies during the ‘45 Rising, in which hundreds perished during a day of slaughter amid freezing winter conditions.

The encounter was the largest battle of the Jacobite wars, and was the last substantial victory won by the forces loyal to Prince Charles Edward Stuart - whose army was later decisively defeated by the Duke of Cumberland’s Hanoverian army at Culloden.

The memorial is at the centre of where the battle lines of the opposing forces stood at the beginning of the battle, which ended with the Jacobite army occupying Falkirk before continuing its retreat north.

The total casualties on both sides are not known.

At least 350 Hanoverian soldiers are thought to have died, but darkness, exhaustion and the Jacobites’ lack of a sufficient force of cavalry for pursuit meant fewer perished than might otherwise have been the case.

The steadiness of veteran redcoat regiments, which were not caught up in the general rout, allowed the Hanoverian army to escape complete destruction.

Among the dead were numerous civilian sightseers from across the wider area who had come to witness what they expected would be a Jacobite defeat - but who were instead slaughtered during the frenzy of battle.