Greys veterans salute their comrades

Cumbernauld men en route to the Cenotaph in Glasgow
Cumbernauld men en route to the Cenotaph in Glasgow

Every Remembrance Parade is special, rekindling for many the memory of friends who didn’t live to see middle age or old age.

But the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War was an occasion with an extra significance of its own, particularly in a city which suffered such terrible losses among its young men.

Cumbernauld veterans who attended this year’s ceremony at the cenotaph in Glasgow’s George Square included Alex Alum, and Tam Spence from Abronhill, while Kevin Mearns acted as standard bearer.

They were with a contingent of 45 “grey berets” of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Association, and were proud to pay their respects to the dead of two world wars and other conflicts, in company with comrades from a number of other associations.

Next year is a red letter one for the Greys, as it is the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, where Sergeant (later promoted to Ensign) Ewart of the Scots Greys (2nd Royal North British Dragoons) captured the eagle motif and flag of the French 45th regiment of the line.

That same eagle (displayed in Edinburgh Castle) is depicted on the standard the local men carried at the cenotaph on Sunday.

But while that tradition is 200 years old all are well aware that soldiers are still fighting and dying in the service of the British Army, and that the grief of tragic loss is as keenly felt now by those whose loved ones have perished in the countless smaller wars that have followed the epic events of 1914-1918 and 1939-45.

The local contingent were gratified to find “a great turnout” of their fellow ex-servicemen at this special centenary event, and were later invited to Glasgow City Chambers for a buffet and refreshments to round off a memorable day.