Veterans’ gravestones at two Inverness cemeteries will be without a memorial poppy cross this Armistice Day for the first time in over 30 years.
The laying of crosses has previously taken place annually in the build-up to Armistice Day at both Tomnahurich and Kilvean Cemeteries in the Highland Capital, but will not this year due to a lack of volunteer support.
Joe Davidson, chairman of the Inverness branch of the Royal British Legion, said: “I feel a little bit let down.
“I have no idea why it isn’t taking place this year. It has always worked in the past.
“It is the first time in over 30 years that I can remember this hasn’t taken place.”
He added: “Previously it brought families of victims together to see their loved ones remembered.
“You could never quantify the courage of these men and now in the fourth year of the commemoration of World War One we hoped it would have spread through the community to ensure these men are remembered.”
Two parades are scheduled to take place in Inverness over remembrance weekend, with the first being organised by a partnership including the Highland Council, Inverness Old High Church and Inverness Cathedral on Saturday, November 10.
Three wreath-laying ceremonies will also take place that day, with the first beginning at 11am in Tomnahurich Cemetery and being led by representatives of the Royal Navy. A further wreath will be laid at the Commonwealth war graves at noon before moving on to Kilvean Cemetary, where a wreath will be laid at the Victoria Cross of Sgt J Munro.
Councillor Roddy Balfour, Highland Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion, said: “We should obviously be placing poppy crosses at the graves of all known veterans.
“It is unfortunate that in this centenary year that this has been unable to be done.
“Myself and my fellow ward councillor Trish Robertson will make sure the graves in Culloden and Ardersier are covered.”
He added: “If there is anything I can do within the council to help the Royal British Legion then I certainly will.”
Family members who wish to collect a cross to lay at a grave are asked to contact the Armed Forces Careers Office on Inverness’ Bridge Street from November 5.
On November 11, pipers from across the Highlands are invited to meet at Inverness Castle at 5.45am to play a special tune to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Over nine million poppies were sold in the first year of the Royal British Legions formation in 1921, with the poppy serving as a remembrance symbol to all who have fallen in war since.