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rgalley

Foster Hill Road Cemetery, Bedford - 4 November 2018

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rgalley
The Bedford Scots' Society's Annual Service of Remembrance will take place in Foster Hill Road Cemetery on the morning of Sunday 4 November 2018. The service is held among the graves of the Highlanders who died in Bedford during the winter of 1914/15 and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.
 
This year's service is notable for a number of reasons, not least because the Lord Lieutenant for Argyll and Bute will be making the trip south specifically for the occasion. Immediately after the main service, he - along with the Lord Lieutenant for Bedfordshire - will plant a tree and unveil a memorial alongside the Highlanders' graves.
 
The memorial is of polished black granite and bears the following inscription:
 

This memorial was unveiled by Mrs. Helen Nellis, H.M. Lord Lieutenant for Bedfordshire and Mr. Patrick Stewart, MBE, H.M. Lord Lieutenant for Argyll & Bute on 4 November 2018.

The memorial, and the Scots pine planted close by, commemorate the enduring bond of friendship that was forged between the people of Bedfordshire and the 22,000 Territorial Force soldiers of the Highland Division who were billeted in and around the town from August 1914 – May 1915, some of whom rest in this cemetery.

"Our good-byes were parched upon our lips, for Bedford had mothered us, and we had grown up as her own children."

Captain Robert B. Ross, Gordon Highlanders

“The people of this Borough will never forget the visit of the Highland Division. The friendships formed during the last nine months will last for many years to come and we shall watch for news of the Division as if they were our own people.”

Mayor Harry Browning to Major-General R.B. Allason, May 1915

 
Patrick Stewart heard my talk on 'Bedford's Highlanders' in Dunoon last October and was so taken by the story of Bedford's response to the Highlanders' invasion that he felt something permanent ought to be done to remember the link between the Borough and the Highlands. As he wasn't sure what form that could take, I suggested planting a Scots Pine and erecting a stone memorial alongside the Highlanders' graves ... and so here we are! A local stonemason (Neville Memorials, Bedford) has supplied and installed the memorial free of charge and Bedford Borough Council has donated the tree. Good for them! Let's hope the weather stays kind.

 

Timings for the occasion are as follows:

 
10.00am Parade (including the general public) assembles at the chapel, Foster Hill Road Cemetery
c.10.30am Parade moves from the Cemetery's chapel to the military graves
c.11.30am Parade returns to the chapel where refreshments will be available
 

The parade musters at the Cemetery's chapel and processes from there to the military graves, led by the pipes and drums. This year the service will be followed immediately by the tree planting and memorial's unveiling by the Lord Lieutenants. At the conclusion of the ceremony the pipes and drums lead the procession back to the chapel, where the RBL standards, cadets and pipe band are inspected by the dignitaries before being dismissed. Refreshments (lots of them!) are provided in the chapel.

 

I’m not aware of the service being widely advertised, which is a shame, so please do feel free to attend and to wear tartan if you do.

 

The cemetery's address is:

Foster Hill Road Cemetery

Foster Hill Road

Bedford

MK41 7TD

 

FHR 041118.pdf

Edited by rgalley

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4thGordons

Remembering Cpl James McDonald 1/4 Gordon Highlanders DOW 1919, buried Foster Hill cemetery.

Thanks for all you do to keep their memory alive, Richard.

Chris

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rgalley

Chris,

 

I shall, of course, play the lament at James's graveside tomorrow.

 

Richard

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4thGordons

Many, many thanks.

Jock.jpg.03ef22969ac6dde6eecbfa5fa9731524.jpg

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rgalley

Chris,

 

Can you let me have your current email address and I'll WeTransfer to you the Look East coverage of yesterday morning's ceremony.

 

I played the lament for James and this was filmed for the Friends of Bedford Cemetery who are producing a video about the cemetery. I'll try and get hold of this footage to share with you as well.

 

Richard

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4thGordons

Thanks Richard - PM sent

Chris

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