Group Captain James Martin Stagg honoured in Dalkeith

Thursday June 6th 2019

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Peter Stagg, the son of Group Captain James Stagg, after unveiling the plaque.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Around 150 people gathered in Dalkeith today for the unveiling of a plaque to honour a key player in the success of the D-Day landings.

Raised in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Group Captain James Stagg led the team responsible for advising military planners on weather conditions in preparation for the Normandy landings in June 1944. As Chief Meteorologist to General Dwight D Eisenhower, it was Stagg’s expertise that persuaded the Allied Commander to postpone the advance by 24 hours until 6 June.

Thanks to the determined efforts of local history enthusiast Sharon Mackintosh, with the support of more than thirty individuals and organisations who have helped crowdfund the project, a memorial plaque was unveiled outside Dalkeith Library today.

Sharon said she was delighted that James’ son Peter was there to unveil the plaque to his father, along with other family members.

She said: “James Stagg’s professionalism, determination and expertise played a huge part in the success of the D-Day landings and his significant contribution richly deserves this lasting recognition in his home town.”

After the ceremony, attended by around 150 people, Sharon said the event “couldn’t have gone any better”. “It was fantastic and the sun shone,” she added.

Peter Stagg said he was delighted to unveil the plaque and that his father would have been “very honoured”.

Peter who is a former Scotland international rugby union player, capped twenty-eight times between 1965 and 1970, said

“Previously I have been more famous than my father so it is nice for him to now get the recognition from his home town. My family and I are so very pleased by the welcome we have received on coming back to Dalkeith.”

James Stagg was educated at the old Dalkeith High School in Croft Street and was awarded Dux of School in 1914-15 at the age of 15. So it was fitting that over one hundred years later today’s ceremony included pupils from Dalkeith High School, St David’s High School and Newbattle High School.

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Pictured from left to right at the back: Piper Callan Sinclair from St David’s High School, Sharon Mackintosh, Peter Stagg. At the front: Jessica Clegg, Guy Ward, Fazan Raja from Dalkeith High School and piper Struan McIntosh of Newbattle High School.

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