Falkirk’s chance to pay tribute to troops

Falkirk Bairns pay their own respects to the guardsman killed in Woolwich last week
Falkirk Bairns pay their own respects to the guardsman killed in Woolwich last week

Tributes have been left by the people of Falkirk to the guardsman killed in a London street.

Flowers have been left at the town’s Cenotaph in remembrance of 25-year-old drummer Lee Rigby, stabbed to death in Woolwich on May 22.

Provost Pat Reid said they showed how everyone across the country had been affected by the tragic death.

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He also revealed that local people will have an opportunity to make a further show of gratitude to our troops next month.

On June 13, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, now part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, will march through Falkirk in one of their final parades before their reduction to a ceremonial company.

Falkirk’s First Citizen said: “The death of this young soldier in this way is not something we would expect to happen on the streets of Woolwich – and something we don’t want to happen again.

“It reminds us of the dangers our Armed Forces personnel face on a daily basis and we should all be grateful for their bravery.”

The parade in a fortnight’s will see almost 400 soldiers take part in what could be a final farewell to the town.

Officers and men, led by their regimental mascot, Shetland pony Cruachan, will march from the east end of the High Street, stopping at the Steeple where Lord Lieutenant Marjory McLachlan will take the salute. They will then continue down the High Street before finishing up at the Municipal Buildings for a reception.

It is likely this will be the last full-strength parade by the battalion in the district. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced last July that, as part of Army cuts, the Argylls would be reduced to a single company for ceremonial duties in Scotland.

Provost Reid, who has been instrumental in organising the visit, revealed it has been almost two years in the planning.

He said: “It will be an opportunity for the people of Falkirk to pay tribute.

“In 1972 the regiment was given the Freedom of the former burgh of Falkirk and two years later, there was a similar tributes from both Grangemouth and Denny and Dunipace.”

Falkirk’s First Citizen said when the Rolls of the Dead were recently being compiled of locals killed in action, many of them were from the Argylls.

He added: “This has always been a very strong recruiting base for the regiment and sadly, some of those signing up didn’t come home.

“The Nimmo family of Westbank, where the municipal buildings are now situated, lost three sons in the Second World War and two of them served with the Argylls.

“I’m sure the people of Falkirk will come out in large numbers on June 13 to show their support.”