Published: 17/04/2017 08:14 - Updated: 14/04/2017 16:30

Arras commemoration event to be held in Elgin

Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Lt Col Grenville Johnston
Lord Lieutenant of Moray, Lt Col Grenville Johnston

A tribute to the men of Moray who died at the Battle of Arras in WW1 is being held in Elgin’s Cooper Park on Friday.

The event will feature a flypast from RAF Lossiemouth, a marching contingent from Moray’s two military bases at Kinloss and Lossiemouth, a performance by the Military Wives Choir and a service of remembrance.

During the service, school pupils from Moray’s secondary schools will plant 250 crosses on the mound in Cooper Park to mark each man lost in the conflict.

Chairman of the group organising the event is Moray’s Lord Lieutenant, Lt Col Grenville Johnston. He said: "The Battle of Arras resulted in more soldiers from Moray perishing or being severely wounded than any other conflict in World War 1.

"You only need to visit the cemetery in Arras to realise that whole streets in parts of Moray lost a man each. The 6th Seaforths were particularly hard hit.

"It is therefore appropriate for Moray to remember these brave soldiers. There will be many in Moray today who lost grandfathers and, as a consequence, their families had a hard life after that war.

"I hope many will come to share in this tribute."

The event is being held at 11am on Friday, April 21, close to Elgin library – part of which was once the old Drill Hall from where, in 1914, the soldiers marched off to Elginrailway station to head for France.

A programme for the event will be available to download from the Moray Council website and social media page. Hard copies will be available on the day from Elgin library.

A free talk on the battle by local war historian Derek Bird will be held later that day in the Gallery at Elgin library.

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