THE FINAL COMMUNITY-led Armed Forces Day celebration turned out to be a more muted affair in Keith at the weekend.
Overcast conditions are thought to have been one reason why fewer than normal people turned out for the event than in previous years. It will be the last time that the event is organised by Moray Council – future parades will be organised by the local military bases.
These were again represented at Saturday’s parade from Mid Street to Reidhaven Square, with the Kinloss Barracks personnel from 39 Engineering Regiment leading the way alongside airmen and women from RAF Lossiemouth.
Veterans from all branches of the armed services stood alongside contingents of local cadets as Clare Russell, the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, took the salute. Amongst those she met was Staff Sergeant Donald Campbell, who was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross in March 2008 for the part he played in bridging a ditch while under fire in Afghanistan.
Mrs Russell said that as a nation “we owed a responsibility to ensure the military have our full support”, adding: “It was terribly exciting to meet Staff Sergeant Campbell. Under fire he did his job and came out unscathed – it is a very, very high honour and it was wonderful to meet him on parade.”
Leading the local dignitaries was the convener of Moray Council, Allan Wright, who reminded those attending that Moray had a “long and proud association with all three arms of the military”.
Alongside the parade Forces Charities were on hand to remind people of their ongoing commitment to those who served. Karen Cox, chairman of Team RAFBF Lossiemouth, said: “We raised over £200 despite the event being smaller than previous years – we thank the amazing generosity of those who attended.”