Region falls silent as respects paid on Remembrance Sunday

The sounds of the Last Post and Floo’ers o’ the Forest opened and closed silences across the Borders on Sunday as towns and villages held remembrance parades, services and wreath-laying ceremonies.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 4:39 pm
The act of remembrance at Selkirk war memorial.

The region’s war memorials and town centres were decorated with poppies, crosses and wreaths as Borderers came together, as they do every year, to remember their war dead, in particular those killed in the First World War.

On Monday, the region fell silent once again, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, to mark the signing of the armistice 101 years ago to bring to an end four years of conflict on the continent.

In Hawick on Sunday, more than 250 people followed in a remembrance parade to the war memorial in Wilton Lodge Park, under parade commander Lou Godfrey, for a service led by lieutenant Caroline Brophy-Parkin, of Hawick’s Salvation Army branch, and the laying of 38 wreaths.

Flags are dipped during the act of remembrance in Galashiels.

Hawick Royal British Legion’s branch chairman, Ian McLeod, said: “It was a really good commemoration.

“The parade gets stronger every years. There seems to be more people support it and the number of people at the war memorial seems to increase every year. It’s encouraging that so many still turn up year after year.”

Richard Scott, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, acting as lord-lieutenant, was among the dignitaries taking the salute.

Meanwhile in Selkirk, as the Last Post sounded at 11am, standards dipped, a lament was piped and a silence was observed by all before the reveille sounded.

Selkirk Ex-Soldiers’ Association chairman David Deacon said: “Wreaths were laid and the congregation, one of the largest I have ever seen at the war memorial, was addressed by the Reverend Margaret Steele.

“The parade reformed and marched past the pant well where the salute was taken by Michael Strang-Steel, provost Keith Miller, community and town councillors.

“This year’s commemorations have been well received and supported.

“Events like these do not just happen. It has taken a vast amount of organisation, time, effort and commitment from the community across all ages, for which I am, and always will be, eternally grateful.”

A post-parade lunch in the Conservative club raised money for Selkirk Pipe Band and the town’s poppy appeal.

Fiona Deacon presented the best window display award to Jazrose Cafe in West Port.

Galashiels’ parade was also well supported and saw deputy lord-lieutenant Mike Gray, representing the Queen, take the salute from a large parade on its way along Bank Street after a service at the war memorial.

In Earlston, a church service was followed by a parade to the war memorial, where a service was conducted by the Reverend Marion Dodd at 11am.

Bruce Hastie played the pipes, George Goodfellow bore the standard and seven wreaths were laid in silence at the memorial bearing the names of the 49 Earlston men killed in the 1914-1918 conflict and seven more during the Second World War.

Along the road in Lauder, Jane O’Neill said a “very good turnout” marched to the town’s war memorial for a service from Ian Brotherston.

Local organisations laid 18 poppy wreaths before the parade carried on to the parish church for a service by the Reverend Claire Guthrie.

Around Melrose, wreaths were laid at rural memorials before an ecumenical service in the parish church.

Reference was made to local people who had served in both wars, including Victoria Cross recipient Douglas Hamilton and general Philip Christison. An excerpt of the later’s diary told of dramatic events at the 1915 Battle of Loos. All our photos from Galashiels and Melrose are here: https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/pictures-galashiels-and-melrose-remember-war-dead-remembrance-sunday-921448

In Kelso, a silence was observed and wreaths lain by various organisations following a parade led by the town’s pipe band.

Jedburgh’s remembrance parade saw around a dozen wreaths laid at the war memorial during an act or remembrance led by the Reverend Una Stewart.

And nearby at Edgerston, Oliver de Gier, 11, of Edgerston House, laid a wreath with honour and decorum, at the war memorial.