Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

Young Pretender’s Angus men

April 14th, 2007

BALNAMOON – THE Rebel Laird, was a suitable introduction to my trip up Glen Clova last Sunday to watch the re-enactment of the laying up, in 1746, of Ogilvy's, or the Forfarshire Regiment's standard in Clova Kirk at the head of the glen. The regiment was raised and commanded by Lord David Ogilvy, a direct ancestor of the present Lord Airlie.

The re-enactment was organised by heritage group Crann Tara, which takes its name from the  fiery cross', the traditional summoning of the clans to forgather armed for war.

After the Battle of Culloden, at which the Forfarshire Regiment fought for Bonny Prince Charlie, the Angus men marched back to Glen Clova where they were disbanded, and their standard laid up for safe-keeping in the small kirk. Kilted in belted plaids (breacan feile), and with banners flying, Crann Tara troopers marched down from Loch Brandy which overlooks the glen, on the final leg of the journey taken by their predecessors.

After a service of dedication led by Rev Malcolm Rooney, Minister of the Glens, the replica regimental standard was accepted by Lord Airlie to be laid up in the kirk, where it is on public view.

The  Rebel Laird' was James Carnegy of Balnamoon, the house and estate of that name which lies west of Brechin, and James was a Captain in the Forfarshire Regiment. After Culloden, many who fought on the Jacobite side fled to the Continent, but James took his chances and slipped across the hills to neighbouring Glen Esk where he took refuge in Balnamoon's ( Bonnymoon's', locally) Cave which is actually in Glen Mark, a tributary glen of Esk, and is shown on Ordnance Survey maps.

Balnamoon – The Rebel Laird, is a novel based on the facts, written by Montrosian John Angus, and recently republished by his son Niall. Montrosians of a certain age will remember John's sister, Biddy, who was an art teacher at Montrose Academy.

The story traces Bonnymoon's fugitive months in and around Glen Esk, sheltered from Government troops by sympathetic glen folk. Eventually captured and taken to London for trial, his political transgressions were happily dismissed by skilful legal argument.

I've walked to lonely Bonnymoon's Cave several times. In reality it could only have been a  bolt hole' in times of extreme danger because it is quite one of the most uncomfortable places of refuge you can imagine.

Crann Tara gave a presentation on the arms carried by Ogilvy's soldiers. Before firing a replica Brown Bess flintlock musket, those with dogs were advised to take them out of immediate earshot. I'm not surprised – the detonation from just one was formidable. When the whole regiment of 500 discharged their muskets at once the ground must have near shook!

My thanks to retired Dundee solicitor, Ian Steven, who kindly told me about Clova Kirk's plans for this fascinating piece of historical reconstruction.

Written on Saturday, April 14th, 2007 at 7:03 am for Weekly.