Forfar couple’s role of honour in Festival of Remembrance

Charlie and Margaret Brown on stage during the Festival of Remembrance.
Charlie and Margaret Brown on stage during the Festival of Remembrance.

Local couple Charlie and Margaret Brown were given roles of honour at the recent Festival of Remembrance held in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

There was a significant Angus input from the very first moments of the proceedings when the crowd of close to 1,000 stood to welcome Mr and Mrs Brown, representing the Forfar branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland bearing the Queen’s Colour and the Royal British Legion’s National Standard, under the command of Standards Marshal Mike McKeown, also from the Forfar branch.

The Pipe Band from the Legion’s Arbroath branch emerged as the stars of the show, when the mostly youthful pipers and drummers stunned the audience by joining the Central Band of The Royal British Legion Scotland in a faultless rendering of Highland Cathedral, always a mega favourite with Festival audiences.

A festival spokesman said: “Audience reaction was, shall we say, spirited in the extreme. The composure and confidence of the band – many of them youngsters – was a joy to behold, and even more so to listen to.

“They have made a host of new friends.”

The festival programme offered military band music from marches to a Beatles medley, and piping from Scotland and Brittany.

Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin, the legion’s national president, recalled the First World War, which broke out a century ago, and created a solemn and emotional moment when he recited the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Colonel John McCrae.

This was followed by ‘Lochaber No More’, the regimental lament of The Black Watch, played by Pipe Major Alistair Duthie, formerly Pipe Major of the regiment’s 1st Battalion.

The Festival ended with an ecumenical Act of Remembrance, during which ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ were played by buglers from the Dundee and Perth units of the Sea Cadets.