Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

10/12/2007

IN REMEMBRANCE

As Bob Lawson has told us above he and the members of our Pipe Band have just returned from Vlamertinge in Belgium as part of their annual trip of Remembrance. We thought you might appreciate reading the address Bob gave to a packed Church in Vlamertinghe. He ends by quoting part of a Remembrance Prayer from Rev Sheila Kesting, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.

‘Good Morning. We bring you greetings from the Churches in Scotland and thank you for the opportunity to share this service with you.

In the Gospels it is written that Jesus said “Where two or more people meet in my name, I will be there also”. In His presence we meet to remember the sacrifice that others gave in freedoms sacred cause.

Firstly, I wish to emphasise a common bond that links the Scots and Flemish peoples over many centuries. In past peaceful times, trade and commerce between seaports on the East of Scotland and the Lowlands of Europe was common. In less peaceful times the conflict of War has had a great influence on all of us. Consider the Norman / Flemish Conquest of 1066. The impact of the Flemish nobility and their followers on Scotland is seldom mentioned in our history books. Lady Maude de Senlis, a descendant of William the Conqueror married David I, King of Scotland. Flems introduced to the Scots their civilising code of chivalry and the heraldic devices of their great ancestor Charlemagne. Flemish names and coats of arms weave a golden thread through Scotland’s heraldic heritage: King Robert the Bruce (descendant of the Flemish Knight Robert de Brix), Boswell, Bethune, Cameron, Campbell, Douglas and many more; their names ring through Scottish history like a clarion call. Also, the Port of Leith shares its coat of arms with the Cathedral at Boulonge and I carry that device on my Pipe Banner.

Today, however, is a time to remember and focus on the 90th anniversary of the 3rd Battle of Ieper. No words of mine can express the death, destruction and devastation of that terrible event. I call on the names of 2 Scots who died in that great conflict and who now lie in Flanders Fields.

Private Robert Liddle Kilgour, Scots Guards, left the quiet countryside of East Lothian to work in Edinburgh as a tinsmith and answered the call to duty on 14 January1915. Aged 25, he was killed in action in the taking of Pilckem Ridge on 31 July 1917, the first day of that great Third Battle of Ieper. In researching his background I visited his birthplace a few miles outside Edinburgh….there were poppies growing in the fields and hedgerows that day. He lies in Artillery Wood Cemetery and we will pay our respects there later today.

Major Joseph McLaren, Canadian Black Watch, was born in Dundee and as a boy was a member of the Boys’ Brigade. The same Company as some of the members of our pipe band here today. He studied Law and immigrated to Canada. He enlisted on 25 September 1914. His Battalion arrived at Vlamertinghe on 14 April 1915. He died, aged 32 on 23 April 1915, and he lies in the cemetery here in Vlamertinghe. The Dundee boys will pay their respects there later today.

We remember also the refugees fleeing their homes and how they returned to clear the debris of war, sow a new harvest and rebuild their city, and we salute them for their vision, courage and determination.

We remember the suffering of all the victims of war.

“We pray for those for whom this time of remembrance is hard.
Those who have carried with them the scars of conflict – in wounded bodies and fractured minds:

Those who remember with pain the loved ones whose lives were tragically cut short:

Those who require continued care and support from family.
And we remember those who are involved in active combat today, their families and those who seek their welfare.

Let us give thanks that the ways of violence are never the last word and that in our remembering we are given the opportunity to catch again the vision of a peaceful and just world and to commit ourselves to work for it with all people of goodwill.” Amen.

Peace be with you all.’

source-St Thomas’-Junction Road’s December issue of the Church News

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