Nicola Sturgeon leads 'particularly poignant' Remembrance Sunday service in Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon leads 'particularly poignant' Remembrance Sunday service in Edinburgh

Updated: 2 months, 15 days, 1 hour, 8 minutes, 14 seconds ago

Nicola Sturgeon has led Scotland's tributes by laying a wreath at the Remembrance Sunday and parade in Edinburgh earlier today.

Hundreds of people gathered in the capital to honour the nation's war dead including the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Robert Aldridge and the Scottish Parliament's Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.

Members of the three branches of the Armed Forces marched down the Royal Mile before a short service took place outside the city chambers, led by Rev Calum MacLeod. After the one o'clock gun was fired from Edinburgh Castle at 11am, a two-minute silence was observed.

Ahead of the event, the First Minister said it was important to remember those who made the "ultimate sacrifice" to secure freedom.

She said: "I think it is particularly poignant that people are gathering together to remember in large numbers, in a way that hasn't been possible for the last few years.

"Remembrance has continued during Covid but, of course, these big-scale events have not been possible. There are very few now alive who remember first-hand the horrors of the Second World War. But the importance of remembrance is as strong as ever.

"Of course, this year we have seen the horror of a land war in Europe for the first time in many decades and that is a reminder of the horrors of war."

In London, the King laid his wreath, its design a tribute to ones used by his late mother and grandfather George VI and it featured his racing colours, after buglers from the Royal Marines played the Last Post.

Nicola Sturgeon lays a wreath during a Remembrance Sunday service and parade in Edinburgh

(Image: PA)

The wreath was soon joined by others left by the Prince of Wales, the Earl of Wessex, and the Princess Royal, with the Queen Consort's assistant equerry, Captain Edward Andersen, laying her tribute.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also paid tribute to the fallen on behalf of the Government by leaving a wreath, followed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, other party leaders, senior members of the Cabinet, military chiefs of staff and high commissioners.

Watching from the balcony of a Government building was Camilla and the Princess of Wales, and nearby on another balcony was the Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

A short service followed the laying of the main wreaths, with the Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, delivering a prayer.

She told those gathered: "O Almighty God, grant, we beseech thee, that we who here do honour to the memory of those who have died in the service of their country and of the Crown may be so inspired by the spirit of their love and fortitude that, forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives, we may live only to thy glory and to the service of mankind through Jesus Christ our Lord."

The King and members of the royal family sang the hymn O God, Our Help in Ages Past as thousands filled Whitehall.

The Remembrance Sunday ceremony has added poignancy this year as it is the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, with former veterans marching past the Cenotaph.

Retired Brigadier Jon Mullin, who served as a Lieutenant in the 9 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers during the conflict, is marching with South Atlantic Medal Association 82.

Reflecting on the sacrifices made to liberate the Falklands, he said: "I wanted to be part of a national commemoration to commemorate all those people who did this wonderful feat of arms and put it all together, and many have passed on in the intervening years.

"I think it's important that the nation doesn't forget the sacrifices."

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