Scotland — Perth hosts Scotland’s biggest Armed Forces Day parade

Over 1,000 marchers from the Army, Roy­al Navy, Roy­al Marines, Roy­al Air Force, vet­er­ans asso­ci­a­tions and youth organ­i­sa­tions parad­ed through Perth on Fri­day for 2010’s biggest Scot­tish Armed Forces Day parade.

Soldiers of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Sol­diers of The Black Watch, 3rd Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land, march through Perth
Source: Mark Owens, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The marchers were joined by four pipe bands and two mil­i­tary bands, as well as a vari­ety of mil­i­tary vehi­cles from Word War Two.

The parade, part of the Perth Day cel­e­bra­tions, passed the salut­ing dais in Tay Street where His Roy­al High­ness Prince Edward, Earl of Wes­sex, took the salute along with Provost John Hul­bert and the Lord Lieu­tenant of Perth and Kin­ross, Brigadier Mel Jame­son.

The event was organ­ised by 51st High­land, 7th Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land (7 SCOTS), the Perth-based bat­tal­ion which was grant­ed free­dom of the city ear­li­er this year.

Provost Hul­bert said:

“The parade was one of the major high­lights of all the Perth 800 cel­e­bra­tions. It was the biggest parade of its kind held in Scot­land this year, and one of the biggest Perth has ever seen.

“Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Army, Roy­al Navy, Roy­al Marines and the Roy­al Air Force were march­ing. They were accom­pa­nied by vet­er­ans, many of whom rode in vehi­cles used in the Sec­ond World War.

“Armed Forces Cadets, Scouts and Brown­ies also joined the march. A total of six pipe and mil­i­tary bands were posi­tioned along the parade.

The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Sol­diers of The Black Watch, 3rd Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land, march with their colours through their spir­i­tu­al home of Perth
Source: Mark Owens, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“I am very proud that I was able to wel­come del­e­ga­tions from all of Perth’s twin cities to enjoy this unique event. It was a riot of colour and noise, and rep­re­sent­ed all that is best about our Armed Forces and our young peo­ple.

“The peo­ple of Perth and Kin­ross came out in force to show their sup­port for our forces.”

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of 7 SCOTS, Lieu­tenant Colonel Ed Chelsea, said:

“It is tremen­dous that with our sis­ter bat­tal­ion, The Black Watch, 3rd Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land, and the pulling pow­er of Perth’s rep­u­ta­tion that we have been able to assem­ble so large a serv­ing and retired naval, mil­i­tary and air force con­tin­gent.

“It reflects the strong links which we in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces have with the pop­u­la­tion and city of Perth. We are also grate­ful to the youth organ­i­sa­tions for their enthu­si­asm to be involved in the march, which includes the Pipes and Drums of Strathal­lan School, Morrison’s Acad­e­my and Gle­nal­mond Col­lege.”

Brigadier George Low­der, the new Com­man­der of 51 (Scot­tish) Brigade, said:

“Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil and the local com­mu­ni­ty have real­ly fall­en in behind the Armed Forces and have worked tremen­dous­ly hard to pro­vide a cel­e­bra­tion and action-packed Armed Forces Day event dur­ing Perth Day.

The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland
Crowds line the streets as sol­diers of The Black Watch, 3rd Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land, march through Perth
Source: Mark Owens, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“It means a great deal to us, and mem­bers of the pub­lic, who don’t nor­mal­ly make con­tact with the mil­i­tary, took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to come along and get to know us bet­ter.

“Many of the mil­i­tary units based in Scot­land — both Reg­u­lar and Ter­ri­to­r­i­al — are deployed on oper­a­tions in Afghanistan, mak­ing per­son­al sac­ri­fices to defend the UK from ter­ror­ism and con­tribute to inter­na­tion­al peace and secu­ri­ty.

“They are very grate­ful for the incred­i­ble sup­port that the peo­ple in Scot­land show to them and their fam­i­lies — it gives them strength and helps them focus on the job in hand.”

HRH Prince Edward also pre­sent­ed six Eliz­a­beth Cross­es to fam­i­ly mem­bers of Ser­vice per­son­nel who have died while on active ser­vice.

Fol­low­ing the announce­ment by the MOD that the main Armed Forces Day event will take place in Scot­land in 2011, First Min­is­ter Alex Salmond said:

“It is excel­lent that Armed Forces Day will take place in Edin­burgh in 2011. It will be a priv­i­lege to host this impor­tant trib­ute in Scot­land next year.

“We not only com­mem­o­rate those who have fall­en but also cel­e­brate the com­mit­ment of our Armed Forces, past and present, to this nation.

“Armed Forces Day is a fit­ting way to ensure that the courage, val­our and sac­ri­fice of Scotland’s serv­ing Armed Ser­vices and vet­er­an com­mu­ni­ty is prop­er­ly and appro­pri­ate­ly recog­nised and com­mem­o­rat­ed.”

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK