Home   News   Article

Veterans enjoy their special day

By SPP Reporter

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Veterans gather at Drummuie
Veterans gather at Drummuie

Seventy Service veterans gathered at Drummuie, Golspie, yesterday where a special flag raising ceremony was held to mark the start of the week in which the national Armed Forces Day falls.

The day started with members of Sutherland Caledonian Pipe Band and some of the younger members of Sutherland Schools Pipe Band playing prior to the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag.

At 11am, the Veterans stood proudly in their berets and medals, as the drums rolled, Reveille was sounded on the bugle by Graeme Mackenzie, Backies, and the flag was raised by John Melville of Golspie.

The ceremony was enhanced by Standard Bearers and the colourful Standards of the Royal Naval Association Golspie and the Royal British Legion branches of Dornoch, Lairg and Rogart and Creich and Kincardine, with Dornoch also parading the union standard.

Members of the Brora, Dornoch and Tain detachments of the Army Cadet Force were also on parade, which was commanded by Sergeant Major John McLelland of Dornoch.

In her welcoming speech, Dr Monica Main, Lord Lieutenant of Sutherland, said that it was a day for all to remember, and the opportunity for everyone to join together to pay tribute to our Armed Forces, past and present; young and old.

She thanked all those taking part, the Highland Council staff at Drummuie for their support in the preparation and planning, thus enabling the ceremony to take place there, and also all those organisations helping towards sponsoring the lunch.

Dr Main then presented the Pingat Jasa Malaysian medal to Robert Brown of Brora; Henry Cooper, Bill Cowie, Carl Lemkes (all of Golspie); and Michael O’Reilly of Rogart. All five had been assigned the medal, which was awarded by the Malaysian government to peacekeeping groups of those participating countries during the period of the Malaysian Emergency from 1957 to 1966.

However, only within the past few months, have recipients been allowed by the Ministry of Defence to wear it officially. Thus this was a really special day for the five.

The occasion was also an opportunity for Flower Thomson, Deputy Lieutenant, to present six of the veterans with their Veteran’s badge – namely John J Mackay, Freddie Melville, Peter Polson, Sandy Gibson, Jimmy Sutherland and John Mackay all of Golspie.

The ceremony ended with some additional magnificent piping.

It was a memorable occasion and an ideal opportunity for the Veterans to come together from all over Sutherland.

However, that was not the end of proceedings, as this being Jubilee year, a special lunch was laid on for the Veterans after the ceremony, at the Stags Head Hotel.

Just over 100 sat down for a marvellous meal and a chance for everyone to continue with their war stories. Mr and Mrs John Melville of Golspie had kindly presented a decorated cake to celebrate the occasion and everyone enjoyed a slice, whilst appreciating piping by Colin Simpson of Helmsdale, who was conveniently home on leave from his battalion The Highlanders, currently based in Germany.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More