Banchory service to remember the Somme

Alistair Black, left, and Chris Collins at Banchory's Gordon Highlander War Memorial
Alistair Black, left, and Chris Collins at Banchory's Gordon Highlander War Memorial

Preparations are being in made in Banchory for a commemoration to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

It will be held at two locations in the town on Thursday, June 30.

This is a significant occasion for the community to pull together and show their respect

Chris Collins Deeside Veterans Breakfast Club

A short wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Burgh Memorial followed by a main service at the Gordon Highlander War Memorial.

The commemoration of one of WW1’s bloodiest battles, is being organised by Legion Scotland, Deeside Veterans Breakfast Club and Aberdeenshire Salutes.

Following the service, a 12-hour vigil by members of the Breakfast Club and Legion Scotland will take place at the Gordon Highlander memorial.

It will end at 7.30am on July 1 - the time troops left the trenches for enemy lines to commence battle.

Alistair Black, chairman of the Banchory branch of Legion Scotland, said they hoped that the local community would attend and remember the fallen.

Mr Black, whose grandfather was wounded at the Somme, added: “It would be nice to see the community taking part, whether or not they had relatives there, because these type of occasions are disappearing rapidly.

“We are also looking for people who had relatives killed or wounded at the Somme to tell their stories, who they were and the regiments they served in.”

Chris Collins, Breakfast Club president said: “It’s all about community engagement, getting people together.

“This is a significant occasion for the community to pull together and show their respect.”

The first wreath-laying will be at 7.30pm and the full service will start at 8pm.

It will include contributions from Mr Black and Mr Collins and the roll call will be read by West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine MP Stuart Donaldson.

A prayer will be said by the Rev Alan Murray and Pipe Major Cassandra Smityh will play Flowers of the Forest, Battle of the Somme and British Legion March.