Falklands veterans and their families gathered in Edinburgh on Saturday to pay tribute on the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict.
The Rt Hon Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge, and Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, Keith Brown MSP, joined the parade and remembrance service.
Hundreds lined the route as the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Scots Guards Association Pipes and Drums marched along George Street before the service in St Andrew Square.
At 11am, the bands were joined by more than 120 pipers across Scotland and as far away as Peru, New Zealand and the Falklands, to play “The Crags of Tumbledown Mountain” in unison. This tune was composed by Scottish Pipe Major James Riddell in the midst of the decisive battle on 13 June 1982, which led to the Argentine surrender and the end of the war the following day.
The commemorations were organised by Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, in partnership with the Armed Forces and the Scottish Government.
The Rev Dr Karen Campbell, National Chaplain of the Royal British Legion Scotland, and The Rev Angus Smith, former Padre to the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards who served in the Falklands, jointly led the service. They remembered the 255 British servicemen who fell in the Falklands, as well as 649 Argentinian military personnel, three civilians, and thousands more who were wounded.
Following the service, wreaths were laid by the Lord Provost, Mr Brown MSP, Rear Admiral Mark Beverstock, a Falklands veteran and President of Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, the Heads of all three Armed Services in Scotland, and the War Widows Association.
Participants then enjoyed musical entertainment from the two military bands, Legion Scotland Sweetheart Amy Hawthorn, Stuart McLean, Juniper 3 and Ellyn Oliver. The public were also able to enjoy exhibits from Legion Scotland, Poppyscotland, and many other organisations and associations.
Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: “It was heartening to see so many people come together today to pay tribute to all those who served in the Falklands. For veterans and their families, today was a very poignant day, as we remembered those who laid down their lives 40 years ago. Even now, many of those who served are still living with the physical and mental scars of the conflict.
“This was also an opportunity to recognise the extraordinary resilience of our Armed Forces community and the vital role they continue to play today. We’re delighted that people of all ages have engaged with our learning
programme over recent months, taking the chance to find out more about the Falklands and other conflicts, and their impact on our recent history. It was particularly moving to hear the iconic pipe tune “The Crags of Tumbledown Mountain” being played at 11am, both here at St Andrews Square and by our global pipe band in all corners of the world.
“We would like to thank the City of Edinburgh Council and everyone else who has made today’s events possible, as well as the public for their support.”
Mr Brown MSP said: “I am delighted that we have been able to partner with Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland to deliver a commemoration which will provide the people of Scotland with an opportunity to recognise the sacrifices made 40 years ago in the Falklands War.”