DESCENDANTS of soldiers taken prisoner and shipped halfway around the world will visit Dunbar this weekend.

The Scottish Battlefields Trust will recreate the Battle of Dunbar 1650 from tomorrow (Friday) through to Sunday.

More than 350 years have passed since the battle, which saw some of the Scottish soldiers taken prisoner later transported to North America.

The Battle of Dunbar re-enactment is the climax of East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight, with descendants from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean visiting East Lothian.

Bill Norbert is among those making the trip from North America and said: “I expect to be greatly moved as I stand where my forebear, William Furbish, stood, a young and brave Scot of 18 or so, who incredibly survived the ordeal and eventually was banished to New England to labour for years and eventually become one of the first Americans, free and independent.

"I’m proud to descend from him and grateful that his native land hasn’t forgotten him and his sacrifice.”

By the time of the battle, a civil war had been ongoing for more than a decade and the alliance between the English Parliamentarians and the Scottish Covenanters had broken down.

On September 3, 1650, Oliver Cromwell unexpectedly attacked the larger army of General David Leslie outside Dunbar and destroyed it.

Stephanie Winchester, who is also making the trip to Scotland, expected it to be an emotional occasion.

She said: “I’ve been thinking about it a lot as the time approaches.

"Our ancestors, my ancestor George Bruce, suffered defeat, capture, the horrors of imprisonment before being shipped off to be sold into indentured servitude.

“Yet they survived, and when their servitude was over, they married and flourished, producing a multitude of descendants.

“They were amazing men.

“So, I would say that this trip for me is a great privilege to visit the homeland of these awesome men, our ancestors, and get a glimpse of what they experienced before they were forced to leave Scotland, their homes and loved ones, forever.

“I’m sure tears on my part will be involved.”

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be interactive activities, stalls and crafts, with activities taking place in the field behind Dunbar’s Asda store, off Spott Road, from 11am to 5pm. See