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The Prince of Wales pays tribute to WWI soldiers in Scotland

23rd August 2015

The Duke of Rothesay with Marc Ellington, Liaison to the Cabrach Cairn Project, during a visit to Cabrach Cairn

The Duke of Rothesay with Marc Ellington, Liaison to the Cabrach Cairn Project, during a visit to Cabrach Cairn

The Prince of Wales paid a poignant tribute today to soldiers from a remote Scottish community who lost their lives in World War One.

His Royal Highness laid a wreath at a new memorial cairn built by the community of Cabrach in honour of soldiers from the Moray farming community and neighbouring parishes at Rhynie, Lumsden and Dufftown.

While no accurate record exists of the exact number of local lives lost, the Imperial War Museum suggests that the figure could be several hundred.

Many of the men from these parishes would have joined the 5th and 6th Battalions, The Gordon Highlanders.

The Prince of Wales, known as The Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, wore a Gordon Highlanders kilt and took part in a short service with local residents, followed by a minute's silence.

 

The Duke of Rothesay lays a wreath during a visit to Cabrach Cairn, Scotland

The Duke of Rothesay lays a wreath during a visit to Cabrach Cairn, Scotland

His Royal Highness then laid a wreath which said: "In special memory of those from the Cabrach, and the parishes of Rhynie, Lumsden and Dufftown who lost their lives during the First World War."

The Duke of Rothesay chatted to locals, the youngest aged five and six years old; the oldest Royal Observer Corps veteran John Gordon, 88, who laid a wreath on behalf of the community. His family has farmed in the Cabrach area for over 300 years.

The project was led by Marc Ellington, a leading authority on Scottish cultural heritage, who said: "Each and every aspect of the construction of the cairn has involved members, both young and old, of the Cabrach Community working closely with master craftsman Euan Thompson, a specialist in traditional dry stone construction.

"As well as being one of the finest memorial cairns to be built in Scotland in recent years, this is an outstanding example of what a local community, working together with energy and determination, can achieve.

"His Royal Highness was greatly pleased with the monument as he is extremely interested in traditional building skills.

"He is a great champion of traditional skills and rural communities. It was a fitting end to a great project."