11th/12th August – Diary Post

“Brethren sitting in the Lodge at Stonehaven reflecting on the beautiful day that the GAOTU has given us.  It seems many hours ago that my travelling companion Bro David Shearer and I left Markinch for our first stop at Lodge Rosyth before heading along the road to Douglas Bank cemetery where the PGM of Fife and Kinross and nearly 80 brethren welcomed the entourage from  the Widows Sons into the Kingdom.  A very moving ceremony was held and it was particularly poignant as we were joined by an Elizabeth Cross holder whose son a  Black Watch soldier was laid to rest in this very cemetery.  The brethren then retired to the Admiralty Road Trust for some tea and biscuits.

The travelling brethren then set off up the M90 on route to Dundee to meet with the PGM of Forfarshire and his brethren at the memorial to the Black Watch who gave their lives in service in the Second World War.

A moving ceremony was led by the PGL Chaplain and the Chair of the Local Black Watch association led the Remembrance tribute.  The PGM then presented a very generous donation to the work of Poppyscotland.

The sun still shining it accompanied the brethren as they sojourned north to Stonehaven where we were met on arrival by the PGM in the Lodge of Stonehaven.  Prior to setting off to the War Memorial that sits in the shadow of Dunnotar Castle.  The PGM promised views and he did not disappoint. The brethren were joined at this ceremony by Past Depute Grand Master Douglas Duncan.

A very fitting tribute accompanied by the Pipes was conducted before we wandered back down the hill side to retire to the Lodge.

The widows sons will make their way home. The brethren will go home suitably refreshed and we look forward to heading to Perthshire tomorrow. — with Dave Purves.

The second weekend of our Tour of Remembrance comes to an end with a final stop off at the historic Lodge of Dunblane no IX.

The first stop of the day was to Lodge Scone and Perth no 3 where the PGM welcomed us and the Widows Sons into his Province with cheese and ham rolls, fruit loaf and Jaffa cakes.

We then made our way around to Balhousie Castle, home and museum of the Black Watch.  A very short but moving ceremony was conducted in the drizzle in front of the memorial hedge where the Province of Perthshire East laid there wreaths amongst the Poppy crosses that commemorate those of the Regiment that gave the supreme sacrifice.

After words of thanks and the now traditional group photo we drove down the M90 to Dunblane where with the  permission of the Headmaster we were allowed to use the Chapel of Remembrance at the Queen Victoria School, the school that boards children of members of HM Forces that are currently serving.

A very moving service was conducted, accompanied by the Pipes, a hymn and a reading.  The PGL Chaplain then laid a wreath on behalf of the Province of Perthshire West.

We are now tucking into soup and sandwiches and the widows sons are drying there leathers.

Next week the Tour of Remembrance goes to the far north when they will visit Orkney.

As ever thank you to all the support this weekend from the 5 Provinces and their brethren. — with Angus Park and Alan Fisher”

Gordon Michie,

Head of Fundraising  at Poppyscotland.

Photos Taken on the day