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Dear Ed, – In May this year in Douglas at the Cameronian (SR) Remembrance Service and Conventional “four old codgers” namely Tom Winters, Aberdeen, Ray (Andy) Anderson, Newcastle, Ian Bilboe, Essex and myself Kenn Robinson, Birmingham, made up our minds to march in the London Remembrance Parade.
Badged as Cameronians Scottish Rifles, we went to pay our Regiment’s homage, appreciation and respects to the many thousands of British, Commonwealth and Allied troops that gave their lives in two world wars, and still do so today, that we and others that follow may continue the freedom of life and speech we had, and yes, to the envy of many nations, still have.
Having attended separate Remembrance Services on Friday we made our way to meet on Saturday at the Union Jack Club, Waterloo and down a few Grouse, no prisoners were taken!
Sunday was a beautifully warm sunny day, and black cabs were free to take service and ex-servicemen to the assembly area on Horse Guards Parade and check point. Once inside, the four old codgers positioned themselves between the King’s Own Scottish Borders contingent and those of the Black Watch, both of whom were well represented in numbers and smart turn out.
Being Cameronians (SR) we were also well turned out, of course. The order was to form ranks of six abreast but, being just four, we had to spread out more and though receiving a few enquiring looks from officers fore and aft we stood our positions.
It was a very long wait, first at Horse Guards then just around the corner in Whitehall and Parliament Street. The sun was very strong, too much for a few stretchered away, though some did return in time to take their places again.
Being part of the service was amazing and very special as was the march past salute to the Cenotaph where, so strong was my awareness of the occasion, that the hairs on my neck stood up.
Round a corner we marched and down into Horse Guards again and there, halfway down on my side, now taking the salute was HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.
Suddenly I became so very aware that we four Cameronians were now very exposed, “eyes right” and looking him full in the eye we all four saw it, no facial movement, but a definite double blink of his eyes!
His aide meanwhile was staring at the papers in his hand frantically trying to find our entry, but then we were past and again entering the assembly point where, after a short time, we all stood down, the Remembrance Parade and March Past over for one more year.
I have missed out the many interested individual questions we were all four asked like: Are you really Cameronians? Weren’t you a Religious order? Is it true your were called Poison Dwarves by the Germans? What tartan is that?
The goody for me was: Are you the Scottish Commandos? When I replied that we were Cameronians Scottish Rifles he said: “But I thought it was only them that wore the black hackle.” Did I put him straight? You betya!
Then there were a number that spoke to us saying they too had served in the Regiment before going to another Regiment, and others who had served alongside or been stationed with it.
Later, back in the Union Jack Club, we four old codgers went over it all again and again while again reducing the grouse population.
Would we do it all again? Maybe, because there is no other feeling like that of shared experiences good, bad or so very sad when surrounded by your peers who understand having shared theirs also. – Yours etc.,
KENN J ROBINSON,
Thanks to all
Dear Ed, – On behalf of Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, may I take this opportunity to send sincere thanks to all of the many volunteers and supporters in South Lanarkshire who have contributed to the work of our charity in 2011. Chest, heart and stroke illness can affect anyone.
Thanks to advances in treatment, and changes in lifestyle, many more people survive heart attacks and strokes than ever before – a real success story for Scotland’s health.
However, this means that many more people, and their families, are living with the long-term impact of these conditions. Right now one in every ten people in Scotland is living with chest, heart or stroke illness.
CHSS is the only charity providing services throughout Scotland for people affected by chest, heart and stroke illness.
During 2011 we were able to help more than 14,000 people through our advice line and patient information, support groups, financial grants, and our wide range of local services, which we provide in communities throughout South Lanarkshire.
None of this would be possible without the contribution of our volunteers. Their work is absolutely vital in our support groups, charity shops and other activities.
We very much appreciate the commitment, enthusiasm and care they bring to the charity and to their local community.
With continuing grateful thanks, and best wishes for 2012. – Yours etc.,
DAVID H CLARK,
Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland,
Fuel for thought
Dear Ed, – I would like to congratulate your paper on bringing the petrol price issue to everyone’s attention and hope that people will start to use the cheaper garages to fill up, as I have done.
I have also questioned Tesco about why the fuel prices were so dear and got a reply blaming the cost of oil etc., and also stating that as part of the planning consent the firm is not permitted to undercut any local business which is why it needs to charge so much.
I asked the same questions as the Gazette and also sent a reply to the email I received from Tesco, stating that this was rubbish as the firm was charging motorway prices to make a quick buck as its store is just off the M74 and that it has undercut the rest of the small shops in the village.
This week alone Tesco was dearer for fuel than the nearby Cairn Services. I am still awaiting Tesco’s response. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – For the second year running the star above the Wallace at the Cross is upside down. Is this a sign of these economic times. - Yours etc.,