four brave soldiers who gave their lives in service of their country were remembered at the dedication of a new section of Kirkcaldy’s war memorial at the weekend.
In a poignant service conducted by former TA chaplain the Rev. Bryan Tomlinson, families of the men came together on a beautiful autumn day to see the names of their loved ones, who have all died since 1945, added to the town’s memorial.
A lone piper played a lament and the colourful standards of the soldiers’ battalions fluttered in the breeze as a delegation assembled in front of the memorial wall to lay wreaths.
And around 20 bikers from the Riders branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland also attended the service to pay their respects.
In his sermon Mr Tomlinson spoke of the bravery shown by the men and the grief of their families, naming each of them in turn and where and when they were killed.
His words were followed by the wreath laying ceremony in which relatives, including Janette Binnie, mother of Acting Sergeant Sean Binnie who was killed serving in Afghanistan last year and Margaret Hutchison, sister-in-law of Trooper Thomas Hutchison of the Royal Dragoon Guards who died in Palestine in 1947, took part.
The other two men were Private George Falconer of the Seaforth Highlanders who died in Malaya in 1950 and Sergeant Ian Harris of the Devonshire and Dorset who died in Northern Ireland in 1972.
Also taking part in the ceremony were Mrs Margaret Deans, Lord Lieutenant of Fife; Cllr Frances Melville, provost of Fife; Cllr Alice Soper; Jim Wishart of the Kirkcaldy Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland; Ken Taylor, president of Fife Area RBLS; Sergeant Gallagher of The Royal Regiment of Scotland The 3rd Battalion the Black Watch with a small detachment of soldiers; Captain J. Galleher 212 The High Land Battery RA; Rob Scott of the Black Watch Association and Fife Council stonemasons, who carried out the work.
There were many soldiers from the Black Watch taking part, as well as a number of Army veterans.
Janette Binnie, who campaigned for a memorial to her son Sean, who grew up in Kirkcaldy and went to Balwearie High School, gave a touching speech thanking everyone in the town who had helped her achieve her aim, with particular thanks given to the late Jim Honeyman and Sonny Hanway from the British Legion.
Hearts and minds
She said: “Today we have all gathered to remember our loved ones who are no longer physically with us, but who live on in our hearts and minds every day.
“This memorial has many names on it and we all owe so much to them.”
She said all of the relatives were proud to see the new names on the memorial.
“When I see my son Sean’s name set in stone it helps me to know that his passing will never be forgotten, and it brings a part of him back to Kirkcaldy, a place he once called home.”
The ceremony ended with the sounding of the last post as all the servicemen and women took the salute and remembered their fallen comrades.
Officials thanked Fife Police for traffic control; Kirkcaldy Museum staff; Eris Murray of Saffron Disco for the PA System; Kirkcaldy United Services Institute for the catering, and Kirkcaldy Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, which organised the event.