ARBROATH paid its respects to those brave service personnel who have given their lives for the liberty and security of Great Britain on Sunday.
In the town, the laying of the wreaths at the War Memorial in the Western Cemetery was completed in fittingly grey and sombre weather, as representatives of local organisations gathered to pay their respects to well over a million British service personnel who have given their lives in the line of duty since 1914.
The service was conducted by Rev. Dr John Cuthbert, while the address was given by Rev. Dr Scott Shackleton, chaplain at RM Condor, at the Royal British Legion Scotland Remembrance Service in the West Kirk.
Dr Shackleton spoke of the way in which kindness and understanding, and the holding of multi-faith shuras which included Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, were being used to combat insurgency in Afghanistan, as he had seen while deployed with 45 Commando in Helmand Province.
He said: “Ten years ago when I first deployed to Afghanistan with 45 Commando to drive out the Taleban from being the government of the country, I would not have believed you if you had told me that such an ecumenical and multi-faith shura could have taken place, such was the state of the religious divide, even just within Islam itself.
“This shura was one of many small things during our time out there, which revealed to us the progress being made in Helmand towards creating a society where peace, tolerance, education, and stability of governance will be the order of the day for that country.
“This fantastic progress has not come about easily and at a small cost. The cost has in fact been high to win such advances, paid for by the brave Afghan people with their lives in resisting the insurgency and the insurgents philosophy of violence and intolerance.
“We the UK allies and our international partners have also paid a heavy sacrifice for progress with 22 men paying the ultimate sacrifice on Herrick 14 this year in Afghanistan. Today is the day when we as a nation remember them.
“We remember also those who have paid a heavy physical sacrifice in moving things forward and to the better in Afghanistan. Men such as 45 Commando’s Cpl ‘Spider’ Webb who lost three limbs on our recent operation in the cause of making our world a better place for people to live in.
“You will all be pleased to know that as we left Nad e Ali district the first girls’ school had been opened for many years and the inevitable 30 year cycle of the summer fighting season had been suppressed by the breath-taking counter insurgency soldiering of 45 Commando.
“So what difference do such things make for those of us back here now in Arbroath? Perhaps as a Christian society it might remind us that our faith is built upon such notions of courage, bravery and sacrifice for the cause of goodness and God’s Kingdom.”
Dr Shackleton concluded: “Such goodness on Earth is bought with a price and today we give thanks to God for those like Jesus who bravely paid that price that those of us left behind may have life in fullness and yes fullness, even in Nad e Ali District, Helmand.”
Last Post and Reveille were played by Geoff Smart, Michael Thain played the Lament at the service in the Western Cemetery while Pipe Major Steven Russell played the Lament at the War Memorial.
The parade was led from the West Kirk to the War Memorial by the Arbroath branch Pipe Band of the Royal British Legion Scotland.
l Turn to page 19 for more Remembrance pictures