In continuation of a ceremony which dates back to 1916, members of Hawick Callants Club met last Saturday to lay wreaths in commemoration of the men from Hawick who served with the 1/4th (Borders) Battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and lost their lives on the Gallipoli peninsula in July 1915.
The Club was joined by Honorary Provost Stuart Marshall, and members of local Ex-Service Associations for the ceremony, which sees wreaths being laid at both the 1514 Memorial and War Memorial.
The first wreath, on behalf of the Club, was laid by Club President Derick Tait at 7.00pm, with the verse from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" being recited by Club member Ex-Cornet and former Blues and Royals serviceman, Rory Culton.
Thereafter the party moved on to Wilton Lodge Park where after a piper led the march to the War Memorial, President Tait laid the second wreath, on behalf of the Gallipoli Comrades Association. The lament "Flowers of the Forest" and sounding of The "Last Post" were played before a minute's silence was observed and following "Reveille", the parade marched back to the museum.
Commenting on the commemoration, President Tait said, "This is a ceremony which is unique to the Borders, if not the whole of Scotland. The attack at Gallipoli on 12th July 1915 saw some sixty men from the Hawick area killed with many more wounded. It impacted and left a lasting legacy on the whole community, and it is only fitting and proper that we continue to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice."
As part of the centenary commemorations next year, a party of some 25 Callants Club members and friends will visit the Gallipoli peninsula to pay their respects.
- Derick Tait