Local schools asked to give a hand to unique Battle of Prestonpans memorial parade

Hundreds of handprints from children in schools in East Lothian and beyond will be used to create banners for a major new memorial event to mark the Battle of Prestonpans it has been announced.

The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust, with support from EventScotland’s Scottish Clan Event Fund, are putting together a spectacular procession, which will take place on Saturday 15th September to mark the Battle of Prestonpans.

Streets throughout the East Lothian town of Prestonpans have been named after the clans, as well as General Cope and Colonel Gardiner from the Government forces, who fought in the battle and it is hoped that those living on the streets or with corresponding surnames will get involved in the event.

The procession will include members of clans that fought for the Jacobite cause in the 1745 battle alongside members of the British army, representing their opponents. The procession will progress through the streets of Prestonpans from Meadowmill to Greenhills where there will be a commemoration in honour of the estimated 450 men who fell in the battle.

Children from schools across East Lothian are being asked to contribute colourful handprints on textile squares.  The squares will then be stitched together by volunteers into banners inspired by some of those which were carried in the historic battle.  Representatives from each school will then have the opportunity to carry the newly created banner in the procession.

 The schools confirmed so far include:

  • Prestonpans Primary School, Prestonpans
  • St Gabriels Primary School, Prestonpans
  • Longniddry Primary School, Longniddry
  • Dunbar Primary School, Dunbar
  • Duddingston Primary School, Edinburgh
  • Loretto Junior School, Musselburgh
  • Hanover Street Primary School, Aberdeen - this school was selected because of its name and proximity to Aberdeen Harbour, where the Hanoverian army embarked before sailing south to Dunbar and thence to Prestonpans.


The Trust has also commissioned two new stone commemorative tables bearing the names of the regiments of each army, which will be placed this year on the battlefield site. They will form the first memorial to all those who fell and were buried on the field of battle. They have been sculpted by local artist Gardner Molloy.

The memorial parade will end at Greenhills, Prestonpans where members of the public will then have the opportunity to witness the re-enactment of the Battle of Prestonpans and explore living history encampments alongside an enhanced programme of food, drink and entertainment for all ages. The parade is free, and those who attend can benefit from an early-bird discounted entry to the re-enactments events before 12 noon.

 Arran Johnston, Executive Trustee of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said:

“This major commemorative event is a fitting and colourful tribute to the men who fought and fell at Prestonpans in 1745, honouring both sides in the conflict. It will be an event that has the local community at its heart and we hope it will bring the history to new audiences. I’m delighted by the enthusiasm we’ve encountered so far from local schools, and of course by the support of EventScotland through its Scottish Clan Event Fund.” 

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major battle of the last Jacobite Rising. The battle took place on September 21, 1745. The Jacobite army loyal to King James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) achieved a dramatic victory over the Redcoat army loyal to the Hanoverian King George II, led by Sir John Cope. The battle took place in fields between Prestonpans, Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites, and despite their ultimate defeat the battle left an important cultural legacy.

For more information on the Battle of Prestonpans Memorial Parade and the Re-enactment of the Battle of Prestonpans, visit www.battleofprestonpans1745.org or



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