PICTURES: We should never forget the sacrifices that were made, says Wick parade commander
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Paying tribute to the fallen is a tradition that "must never be allowed to die away", according to Wick's Remembrance Sunday parade commander.
Robbie Mackintosh, of the Wick, Canisbay and Latheron branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, was speaking after hundreds turned out in dazzling sunshine to pay their respects at the town's war memorial.
At 11am the loud boom of a rocket signalled the start of a two-minute silence that was disturbed only the shrieking of gulls overhead.
Wick RBLS Pipe Band had led the parade to the memorial where Lord Thurso, the Lord-Lieutenant of Caithness, laid the first wreath on behalf of the Crown. Other wreaths were laid by the Royal British Legion Scotland, Highland Council, local uniformed organisations, emergency services and schools.
Pipe Major Leslie Campbell of Wick RBLS Pipe Band played the lament Flowers of the Forest.
Retired Canisbay minister the Rev Lyall Rennie gave a reading.
He said: “Grant that in this season of remembrance we may pay fitting tribute and honour to those who never saw the peace they fought for on the battlefields and in the trenches a century ago; those who gave their lives in resistance to a tyranny that would have overwhelmed us; those who live in the streams of our memory and who have died in modern-day conflicts seeking to make the world a safer place for us all.”
God Save the King was then sung.
Mr Mackintosh has been involved with the Remembrance Sunday parade for 34 years, firstly with the standard-bearer party and for the past 10 years as parade commander.
“It was an excellent parade and a terrific turnout from the public," he said.
Mr Mackintosh regretted that numbers from some uniformed youth organisations had fallen away but added: “It was lovely to see so many Scouts and Cubs. They were the biggest contingent on parade.
“We should never forget the sacrifices that were made by all these people in both world wars and in the conflicts since then. It's a tradition and it must never be allowed to die away.”
This is the centenary year of the Wick war memorial, which was unveiled at the end of October 1923.
In the early afternoon, the Seafarers Memorial at Wick's Braehead was the scene of a separate ceremony in honour of those who died when HMS Exmouth was sunk by a German U-boat off Noss Head in 1940. A report with photos from this event will follow.