A SCOTS-born former commander of Britain's Field Army and director UK Special Forces is to be guest of honour at a symbolic cairn building project - part of cross-border campaign to keep Scotland in the UK.

Lt Gen Sir Graeme Lamb, who was deputy commanding officer of multi-national forces in Iraq and a special advisor to US General Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan, will speak in favour of retaining the Union at the Hands Across The Border event tomorrow (Sunday).

Penrith and The Border MP Rory Stewart will also be welcoming ex-servicemen and members of the public to the 'Commemoration at the Cairn' event this from 12 until 3pm.

Organised to tie in with the First World War centenary celebrations and to mark the outbreak of actual fighting at the Battle of Mons, the event will focus upon 'the unique history of the local area during the Great War'.

Gretna was once the site of the UK's largest munitions factory which employed around 30,000 people and stretched 12 miles right across the border from Eastriggs in Scotland to Longtown in England.

It was also the site of the Quintinshill rail disaster, the UK's worst ever rail crash, in which some 215 Scottish troops were tragically killed on their way to Gallipoli. 

The Auld Acquaintance cairn is a traditional, hand built, dry-stone structure being built upon the precise Scotland-England border in a bend of the River Sark.

Mr Stewart said: "The cairn is being built by people of all political persuasions and none. Regardless of your views on the future of the UK, the event will be about remembering and celebrating what has brought us together and the strength of our shared heritage as part of the United Kingdom. It will be a fantastic opportunity for learning and reflection for members of the public and ex-servicemen alike."