Town pupils join locals to pay their respects at Kirkcaldy’s Remembrance Service

Locals of all ages came together, along with pupils from Kirkcaldy’s four high schools, to remember those who lost their lives in conflict at Sunday’s Remembrance Day Service in the town.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 11th November 2019, 8:09 pm

Representatives from the armed forces, community groups, local dignitaries, the emergency services and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Fife Colonel Jim Kinloch gathered outside the Town House first at 10.30am before walking through the gardens to the war memorial, led by Kirkcaldy Pipe Band.

The service, at the memorial, was conducted by Major Norman Waddington from the Salvation Army and all who gathered stood in silence at 11am to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

There was a large turnout of locals including members of the cadets, youth clubs and local high schools.

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Some 37 wreaths and 25 wooden crosses were laid at the war memorial - many from community groups and businesses along with the services and politicians including Kirkcaldy MP Lesley Laird and town MSP David Torrance.

While Archie Howie laid a wreath on behalf of Jimmy Sinclair (107) for his former regiment, Chestnut Troop of the 1st Royal Horse Artillery.

Dunfermline Brass Band performed throughout the ceremony.

Jim Paterson, secretary of the Royal British Legion (Kirkcaldy branch) said: “After the wreath laying ceremony everyone was invited to the Adam Smith Theatre for light refreshments which was followed by a welcome speech from, John Donovan, vice chairman, RBL (Kirkcaldy Branch), then speeches from, Cllr Rod Cavanagh, armed forces & veterans community champion, Lesley Laird MP, David Torrance MSP with Colonel Jim Kinloch, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Fife invited to close the proceedings.”

He added: “It was a very good event this year with a great turnout from organisations and the public.”

Neil McNeil, headteacher at Balwearie High School, said: “Once again, it was an honour to represent the Balwearie High School community at the annual Remembrance Service in Kirkcaldy.

“Our head boy and girl, Adam Blyth and Emme Marshall, laid a wreath on our behalf and accompanied me to the Adam Smith Theatre thereafter where we listened to moving speeches from invited guests.

“It’s encouraging to see so many members of the community out participating in the service and I thank Adam and Emme who were a credit to the school.”

Patrick Callaghan, rector at St Andrews High School, said: “I was honoured, privileged and humbled to attend the Remembrance Service at Kirkcaldy’s War Memorial yesterday together with Mitchell Robertson and Hannah Marshall from our senior prefect team.

“Our senior pupils, together with senior pupils from the other high schools in Kirkcaldy laid wreaths in respect of those who had died in past wars, remembering too the families and friends of those connected with conflict.

“Today on the 11th we held a short service in school with senior pupils and there was the traditional minute’s silence across the entire school as a mark of respect.”

Calum MacFarlane, acting headteacher at Viewforth High, said the school was honoured to be taking part in the service: “Head boy Jonathan Balfour and Head Girl Erin Brown laid a wreath on behalf of the school,” he said.

“There were also a significant number of pupils from the school’s cadet group taking part as part of the Kirkcaldy Detachment.

“We were also pleased that David Torrance MSP mentioned the important role that young people play in ensuring that the traditions of Remembrance Day are carried forward.”

While Derek Allan, rector at Kirkcaldy High School, said senior prefects had all attended the Kirkcaldy Remembrance Service and laid a wreath.

He said a two-minute silence was held across the school today at 11am with pupils and staff laying wreaths at the school’s war memorial, commemorating the 212 pupils and three teachers who lost their lives in the two world wars of the 20th century.

Mr Allan said: “After an introduction by me, head boy Jake Ramsay told the story behind the brief life and death of Lt Harry Moodie, a former pupil who was killed in action in 1918.

“A poem was read by head girl Cara Turner and Cameron Hamilton (S5) played the last post on cornet. The senior prefect team laid poppy wreaths, joined by history teacher Mollie Osborne, who is a Royal Navy reservist and laid a wreath in tribute to those currently serving.

“The school also held special assemblies with dance and music as well as tributes from those who had been part of the school’s “Battlefields” trip in May.”

He added that he was proud of the respect shown by all the school’s young people for the sacrifice of the fallen, and for their commitment to peaceful living.