Rembembering those who fell at the Somme

Five year old  Leyton Blake from Chirnside Nursery as wreath bearer at Stranraer War Memorial at the Sunset Act of Remembrance on April 1.
Five year old Leyton Blake from Chirnside Nursery as wreath bearer at Stranraer War Memorial at the Sunset Act of Remembrance on April 1.

A pilgrimage to the Borders soldiers who fell at the Battle of the Somme in 1916 has been paid by a small team led by Coldstream’s Keith Cockburn.

Over a three day period Keith and his family, including his five year old grandson Leyton, plus members of RBLS Jedburgh/Riders Branch members travelled 534 miles and visited 61 memorials in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway which remember local soldiers who fell at the Somme during World War 1.

Fought between July and November 1916, it was one of the bloodiest battles in history with a casualty rate of over one million.

A century on, the local men were remembered and those taking part in the memorial challenge held their first act of remembrance at sunset at Stranraer War Memorial, finishing at the Afghanistan Stone at sunset in Henderson Park, Coldstream two days later.

As well as being an act of remembrance the memorial challenge also raised money to help send Berwickshire High School pupils on the Battlefields Tour to ensure that the sacrifice of so many is never forgotten. It is the second memorial challenge; last year’s visited memorials connected to the Battle of Gallipoli, raising £1000 for the school trip.