The 3rd September 1939 is an historically important date for it was then that the UK Government declared war on Nazi Germany resulting in W.W. II and six years of conflict.
Now, in 2014 on the 3rd September there is going to be another event and, while not as important as the outbreak of war, it is nonetheless a historically significant day in Brechin history. HRH Anne, the Princess Royal, will visit the town to unveil the plaque on the statue of Sir Robert Watson-Watt.
Watson-Watt, born in Union Street, Brechin, led the team that developed the RADAR defence system built along the eastern and southern coasts of Britain. The team had created a system that was away ahead of its time and was crucial to the defeat of the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. Along with the Royal Navy and the R.A.F., the system contributed to Hitler’s decision not to attempt an invasion of this country.
Today radar is used widely in international travel and in many other different ways.
Repeatedly over the years, there have been suggestions that Sir Robert should be recognised in his native town but, other than a small plaque on the building where he was born, nothing developed until 2006 when a public meeting resulted in the creation of the Watson-Watt Society of Brechin.
There was immediately set in motion a programme to raise funds so that a memorial to Watson-Watt could be created. However, within a year or two, the country was hit with a financial crisis and hoped-for donations from large companies did not materialise.
Endeavours persisted and slowly and steadily funds were raised from companies, charities and many, many individuals throughout the country and abroad.
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