Plans are now well underway for this year’s joint “Armed Forces Day” event with the Highland Games in Inverness. It will take place on Saturday 21 July. As is now customary it will begin with the traditional Parade through the City Centre, lead by Massed Pipes and Drums. [At least six pipe bands will take part] At the head will be Drum Major David Murray late of 3SCOTS (The Black Watch). The battalion has just returned from a tour in Afghanistan. The Parade forms up at 11.45 hrs at the Eastgate and steps off at 12.15 pm, passing the Town House at approximately 12.25 pm. All three regular Services will be represented as well as Veterans, the Cadet Forces and youth organisation. For the less mobile a vintage McBraynes bus will be available and will follow the Parade. On the Saluting Dais, outside the Town House.in this Diamond Jubilee Year will be the Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire, “Lochiel” together with the Provost and invited guests. As in previous years the day is a celebration of the Armed Forces Past, Present and Future.
The Parade will march to the Northern Meeting Park where it will form up facing the grandstand. There will then be all the ceremony associated with forming up for a drumhead service. This year the service will be conducted for the last time by the Revd Dr Peter Howson, a former army chaplain and currently chaplain to TS Briton and the Inverness Seas Cadets as well as Chaplain to the Inverness Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland. He is to retire from ministry in Inverness the following day. As a part of the Ceremony both Veteran Badges and Diamond Jubilee Medals will be presented.
[For this part we are looking for recipients of both awards to come forward to take part in the day’s events. Also as this year celebrates the 70th Anniversary of the “Women’s Timber Corps (Lumber Jills)” which became part of the “Women’s Land Army” in 1942 we would like any ex members to come forward and be our guest’s as well as to take part in the day’s events. These ladies worked all over Scotland during the War years.]
To add to the day’s pageantry there will be a static display of World War 2 military vehicles in both the City Centre and the Northern Meeting Park. This year for the first time we will also have a display of present day Military vehicles and kit.
During 2012 the MoD has a recruitment drive for the Territorial Army. [They hope to recruit 30,000 men] To highlight the TA’s commitment to the present day Armed Forces, C Company of 7SCOTS, the local TA unit, will take part in the Parade. They will also take part in the official opening of the Highland Games by the Provost of Inverness. Performing a Feu de Joie. [‘Fire of joy’ which is a rifle salute, described as a "running fire of guns", on occasions of public rejoicing. It is particularly appropriate for the Diamond Jubilee Year.]
The Armed Forces Day’s events end with the National Anthem and the Parade being marched off.
The City Council will provide light refreshments for everyone who takes part in the day’s events. Concessionary tickets will also be available to all Veterans at £4.00 p.p for families and friends and these will be available through the Royal British Legion Scotland Inverness Branch 10 Huntly Street Inverness Tel: 01463 233710.
If you are likely to be in the area at this time would like to take part in any aspect of the day’s events we would be delighted to hear from you, please contact the RBLS Branch Secretary Tel: 01463 741732
During Armed Forces Day there will be chance to contribute to the work of a number of ex-Service Charities. Last year substantial donations were made to the ‘Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League’ and ‘Combat Stress.’ With the needs increasing among Veterans it is aimed to do even better this year.
For more details on Armed Forces Day in Inverness please contact: The AFD sub-committee Tel: 01463 238073 – Mob: 07774 248798
Added by Armed Forces Day on March 21, 2012