Collapse of Berlin Wall a ‘triumph’ says Church of Scotland minister who used to guard it


Former soldier Rev Peter Sutton spent four months patrolling the guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided the German city and cut it off from the rest of East Germany from 1961 to 1989.

The minister of St Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Edinburgh was a platoon commander with the 1st Battalion Black Watch.


He was responsible for 30 men whose job it was to protect the British sector of Berlin up until just a few months before the wall was torn down.

Ironically, Rev Sutton, 54, was on UK soil in a heavily fortified army patrol base surrounded by “huge breeze block walls” when he, along with his platoon sergeant, watched one of the most historic and public demonstrations of unity unfold on television.

He said: “I really enjoyed my tour in West Berlin because it was an exciting, vibrant place to be.

“Our role was to ensure that the Russians did not take over the city and make it part of East Germany.

“It was a city full of ‘spies’ and an exciting posting everyone wanted because historically it linked you back to all those War Films and Commando Comics we had grown up with.

“I was stationed there until a few months before the wall fell and although Berlin did not feel dangerous per se, people were still being shot if they came over it.

“You would not climb over it for a joke.”



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