Tributes paid at Remembrance Sunday services

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Thousands paid their enduring respects to the brave men and women of the district who died during conflicts at Remembrance Sunday services.

There was a raised level of poignancy during the national day of mourning as 2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.

Services were held across the district

Services were held across the district

Services were held in churches across the district as well as parades and ceremonies in Falkirk, Grangemouth, Bonnybridge, Camelon, Denny, Maddiston and Polmont.

Dignitaries, including Falkirk Provost Pat Reid, and people from all walks of life, young and old, gathered to bow their heads in reverence to those who were killed in battle fighting for the freedoms enjoyed by generations which followed their sacrifices.

Service veterans, Air, Army and Sea Cadets, brass bands, pipers, local historians, national and local politicians and school representatives all laid wreaths in honour of those who have perished.

The Provost said: “There were around 200 people who took part in the Falkirk parade itself, while all the other services were once again exceptional and very respectful. There were a lot of wreaths being layed.

“It think the services were more poignant this year because of the 100-year anniversary and the reports that have featured each week in The Falkirk Herald have helped heighten the awareness among the people of Falkirk.

“By doing personal stories on the soldiers who have died it has helped people relate to them rather just hearing about the numbers who perished.

“I think there were also more younger people attending. As usual there was a full turnout from both secondary and primary schools, as well as children with their parents. The people of Falkirk certainly played their part.”

Denny’s service was attended by around 400 people who spilled out of the new site for the town’s war memorial in the gardens of the Broompark Centre where Reverend Jean Gallagher of Dunipace Parish Church gave a poignant sermon. The service was organised by Denny and Dunipace Community Council with the assistance of Major Matthew Pembleton.

Denny councillor Brian McCabe said: “The sun shone on the beautiful setting of the new walls holding the resited plaques.

“Everyone in attendance was pleased to see and hear prayers offered for those brave men and women of our armed services who gave in the past and who continue to give today.”

In Dennyloanhead, a new cairn listing the names of four servicemen from the village killed in World War Two was unveiled on Friday (see page 17). Formerly, a plaque with the names formerly hung in the now-closed parish church.

Eliza Lamb, whose father William Stewart was killed in Sicily in 1943, laid the first wreath at the monument at Dennyloanhead Corner.

Bonnybridge councillor said he was “immensely proud” of turnout for the town’s service and said it was a “day to remember”.

He said: “I was immensely proud of the people who turned out for the service. I’d say there were well over 1000 people there, one of the biggest in Scotland, and they were impeccable.

“I’ve never seen crowds like that before in Bonnybridge for any event. They crammed into the memorial park and were so respectful. The community should feel very proud too.

“I’d like to thank police for the way they handled it and they have since told me extra measures may have to be in place next year, simply due to the number of people who attended.”

Maddiston historian David Leask who researched all the names of soldiers associated with the village’s war memorial said the first service there in over 90 years was very moving.

“Around 30 people of all age groups from babes in arms to those of the older generation who came together to pay their respects to those who fell in service of their country, maybe made the more poignant by the passing of 100 years since the start of the ‘war to end all wars’,” he said.

“Those gathered raised their voices heartily to the first hymn, ‘Oh God Our Help in Ages Past’.

“Most of the men were miners who came from various part of Scotland to work in the pits surrounding Maddiston, gladly giving up working in the dirt and dust of the pits for a bit of an adventure – or so they thought – the truth must soon dawned on them as they went headlong into a hail of bullets and shell fire.

“Some of them were outstandingly brave, the majority were just doing what they were told to do – shoot at someone who was probably as terrified as they were and from very similar backgrounds.

“We’ll never know what difference they could have made in the world, their lives were cut tragically short one day between 1914 and 1918.”

Our highlighted slideshow is from the service in Denny. To view our Remembrance Sunday coverage from other towns, click on the links below.

Bonnybridge remembrance service

Falkirk remembrance service

Grangemouth remembrance service

Maddiston remembrance service