A poignant ceremony took place at Inverness’s remembrance garden yesterday as the city paid homage to those who have died in conflict.
Serving forces personnel, veterans, councillors and members of the community braved the autumn chill to attend a service at Cavell Gardens to mark this year’s opening of the memorial.
During the brief service, led by Rev Canon Dr John Cuthbert, Provost Helen Carmichael laid a cross “to honor the dead and remember the living”, and pay tribute to her grandfather who served during the First World War.
She said: “My grandfather was killed in September 1918, just before the end of the war, so it means quite a lot to me.”
Among the attendees was the president of forces charity, Poppy Scotland, Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin – who spoke about the true meaning of remembrance.
He said: “These events are more than just rituals.
“They are about all of us paying homage to the people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in our past.”
He added: “We must really pay homage not just by laying this garden out, by putting poppy crosses in the spaces provided, but also by honouring the living.
“In doing that, we honour truly those who have gone before.”
To mark the occasion, veterans unveiled a memorial bench as a tribute to serving personnel from each branch of the forces.
The signature piece will become a place for local people to reflect and remember those who fought in conflict.
The afternoon service was held following a reception Inverness Town House to mark the official launch of an annual poppy appeal across the city.
In tribute to his dedicated service to the forces community, Roddy Wood was awarded the Poppy Scotland’s special President’s Award.
The humble 74-year-old, who began his service in 1959 by joining the Inverness Army Cadets before going on to become a champion of the charity and its work, said he was “surprised” to receive the accolade.
He said: “I was thrilled with it. It was very special and very surprising.”
Through his role as poppy appeal area organiser for Inverness and Ardersier, Mr Wood has helped to raise more than £320,000 since 2013 whilst spending his days volunteering in the Fort George Museum.