Seven-year-old Naomi touches the heart of Elgin

Seven-year-old Naomi McIntosh accompanied veteran Barry Craib at the Elgin Remembrance service

THOUSANDS STOOD IN silence in communities around Moray on Sunday – young and old paying personal tributes to those who have died and continue to die in the name of freedom.

Dozens of communities held their own ceremonies while the larger towns saw representation from Moray’s military bases on parade, with soldiers from 39 Engineers at Kinloss on parade in Kinloss, Forres, Buckie, Elgin, Dufftown, Findhorn and Spean Bridge.

The Elgin and District Pipe Band led the way on to the Plainstones in a march from the Elgin Museum that included representatives from RAF Lossiemouth, Kinloss Barracks and the local branch of the Royal British Legion and other ex-service and civic groups.

Younger members of the community were represented by cadet forces who proudly stood on parade alongside Police, Fire and Rescue and community representatives.

One of the most touching moments came in Elgin when seven-year-old Naomi McIntosh stood patiently alongside wheelchair-bound veteran of the Queen’s Own Highlanders, Barry Craib.

Mr Craib, a member of the ‘Moray Loons’ association was selected by head of the Moray group, George McIntosh, to represent them at the wreath laying – and his granddaughter Naomi volunteered to lend a hand.

Naomi’s father, Lee, said that his daughter had been excited to take part, adding that the experience had given her an appreciation of how important the event was.

The ceremony was led by the Reverend Christopher Kettley of the Holy Trinity Church, who spoke of a “particularly poignant year” that marked the 100th anniversary of some of the fiercest fighting of World War I. He said: “This year is the centenary of a year of fierce fighting, when many lives were lost on the Western Front and in Gallipoli.”

Laying a wreath was former Royal Navy Serviceman Councillor John Divers, who said: “Moray is a military area and obviously it means quite a bit to me and to many people here. I was pleased to see the crowds in Elgin and the range of ages that turned out.”

More images from the Elgin Remembrance service can be found on the insideMoray Facebook page.