Levenmouth remembers the fallen

Leven Remembrance Sunday ceremony and Armistice parade 2014
Leven Remembrance Sunday ceremony and Armistice parade 2014

Throughout Levenmouth and the East Neuk, as well as the rest of the country, services were held on Sunday to remember those who had fallen in defence of their country during armed conflicts across the years.

Communities paid their respects amid the added significance in 2014 of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and the end of British combat operations in Afghanistan.

Representatives gather for the Buckhaven/Methil Remembrance Service on Sunday (picture by George McLuskie)

Representatives gather for the Buckhaven/Methil Remembrance Service on Sunday (picture by George McLuskie)

On Sunday, the parade to the Buckhaven and Methil War Memorial was very well attended once again, with around 450 people in total attending the ceremonies.

This year’s services at the memorial and in Wellesley Church were dedicated to marking the outbreak of World War I – with other events having already taken place over the weekend.

The popular ‘On Flanders Fields’ was read, as was the Rudyard Kipling poem ‘Gethsemane’.

The first wreath to be laid was made of white flowers to mark the centenary of WW1. White flowers were the flowers of remembrance at that time, while poppies took on the role after the war concluded and the Act of Remembrance was introduced.

The wreath was laid, in representation of the community, by the head boy of Kirkland High School, Rhys Armour and the head girl of Buckhaven High School, Rachel Mellon.

The weekend’s commemorations had begun on Friday with an event for local senior citizens, hosted by Buckhaven and Kirkland High Schools.

Almost 80 people were inspired by the talents of the young people, who read poetry, sang songs, danced and played many musical instruments.

On Saturday, the children of the youth organisations in Methil – the Sea Cadets, Guides, Rainbows, Girls’ Brigade and Exploreres from Wellesley Parish Church – gathered at TS Ajax for a war experience day, where they found out more about the significance of the remembrance services they attended.

The occasion was organised by minister the Rev Gillian Paterson and the Sea Cadets’ Kevin Watters, while the youngsters had the opportunity to try out uniforms, hats and gas masks, which were all genuine wartime artefacts supplied by Home Front Histories.

They tried out the air raid siren, saw original packaging of foodstuffs and could picture themselves as a child during the war years.

Along with a visit from the MAC bus, which was full of World War I information, the children were treated to a talk about street games from the early 20th century, trying out all sorts of different games and learning new skills.

The group was pleased to welcome Margaret Dean, Lord Lieutenant for Fife and her husband Brian, who engaged in a question and answer session about the role of the Lord Lieutenant, and Mrs Dean’s experiences serving in the role for the last 15 years.

At Leven, around 60 people attended a short service on Sunday at the war memorial, organised by the British Legion, whose representatives were joined by others from local churches, the community council, uniformed organisations, and more.

Flags from the various organisations were paraded as a march took place to Leven Parish Church, where the Rev Gilbert Nisbet featured remembrance as part of his address during the regular Sunday service.