Socially distanced Remembrance services carried out in Forres area
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REMEMBRANCE services were carried out at memorials around the area on Sunday and today (Wednesday, November 11), despite coronavirus safety restrictions.
Royal British Legion (Scotland) Forres secretary, Mary Sobey, said a reduced number of people turned out at the Forres War Memorial to pay their respects to service personnel and civilians around the world affected by war.
She added: "To not hold some sort of ceremony would have meant a lack of respect in many people’s eyes. With Moray Council’s guidance, social distancing was adhered to."
RBL Forres president Dr. Brigadier Timothy Finnegan laid a wreath for the branch with Deputy Lieutenant Alan James. Forres Fire Station, the Royal Air Forces Association, British Red Cross, Seaforth Highlanders, the Army and Air Cadets, Girl Guiding Moray, 2nd Forres Boys' Brigade and Lodge St Lawrence 144 were represented.
RAF veteran and Forres Community Council chairman Shaun Moat also laid a wreath in Forres.
He said: "It’s important that we remember those who lost their lives during the World Wars but also those in more recent conflicts such as Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This year’s Remembrance was very different across the UK and we didn’t seen the usual poppy collections on our high streets or at supermarkets.
"I encourage donations to Poppyscotland so the charity can continue their great work supporting our armed forces community by texting: (£2) POPPY2 to 70545*; (£5) POPPY5 to 70545*; (£10) POPPY10 to 70545*."
Forres and District Pipe Band chairman John Channon confirmed pipe major Gordon Roy played the 'Flowers of the Forres' beside the Nimrod memorial while official and representatives laid wreathes.
Mr Channon said: "The band is not able to play as normal just now because of the aerosol characteristics of the pipes so we cannot hold live practices or perform as a band in any way. However, we can provide a single piper for special outdoor events.
"We had been advised by the RBL and the Lord Lieutenant’s office that the Forres service would be low key to avoid attracting a large crowd."
He added: "Key events which have great meaning in the community should continue to be commemorated in accordance with social distancing. It takes a lot more organisation to hold such events but it is really worthwhile."
Soldiers from 39 Engineer Regiment also paid their respects at the Findhorn and Kinloss War Memorials.
"Despite the on-going restrictions it remains as important as ever that we honour those that lost their lives," said Regimental Sergeant Major, Andrew Milsom. "The ceremonies that we attended went very well and we were privileged to be able to pay our respects."
Finally, 1st Forres Scouts leaders John Innes, John Berry and Craig Barron attended the Forres War Memorial while some of the Troop held a minute's silence on their doorsteps.