It was a proud moment in Fochabers today when a new memorial sculpture to the Highlanders Regiment was unveiled.
The stag tribute – based on the memorial emblem carried on the caps of the regiments – has been erected outside food firm Baxters.
Troops from across the Highlands, Moray and Aberdeenshire formed the 1st and 3rd Battalions The Highlanders for 12 years until 2006 when it was amalgamated as part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
All ranks and partners who were part of the divisions between 1994 and 2006 were invited to take part in yesterday’s ceremony to unveil the tribute, which has been designed by Jason Sweeney and is made from stainless steel.
The regiments recruited from the Highlands, Nairnshire, Moray, Banffshire and Aberdeenshire originally and it was felt that a spot on the west bank of the River Spey was the centre of the recruiting area.
Douglas Ross MP for Moray said: “I was delighted to attend the dedication of this impressive new memorial where it proudly sits near the banks of the River Spey and will be seen by many who travel past it on the busy A96.
“The beautiful sandstone pillar with the sculpture of a stag’s head, thistle and crown which is based on the Highlanders’ Regimental Cap Badge, is a fitting tribute to the all who served in the 1st and 3rd Battalions The Highlanders during the 12-year history of the Regiment from 1994 to 2006.
“The large turnout reinforced how important the regiment is to the many veterans who were there to see the new memorial unveiled.
“I know a lot of work has gone into securing this memorial which proudly stands as reminder of those who served our country as part of the regiment.”
Moray’s MSP Richard Lochhead added: “It was a real pleasure to be at the unveiling of this magnificent sculpture which has been commissioned to remember the history of the regiment and everyone who served in the Highlanders.
“I met with a number of veterans who were incredibly proud of the new sculpture, and they will no doubt remember the unveiling for a very long time. The sculpture is a fitting tribute to the regiment and those who served.”
The stag and crown, set on a sandstone pillar, was will be built by Buckie-based At Home Construction.