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WREATHS were placed and tributes paid at well-attended Remembrance Day events around the Keith area on Sunday.
Hundreds of people gathered at war memorials to pay respects to those who have served or paid the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts.
Keith’s ceremony was attended by somewhere in the region of 250 people – who marched from the Territorial Army Hall on Union Street to the war memorial.
This year’s parade was different from usual as The Royal British Legion was not given permission to have the A96 closed.
Instead, the route was down Union Street and onto Land Street, with Strathisla Pipe Band leading the way.
Dr John Harrington, deputy lieutenant of Banffshire, laid a wreath in his first year involved with the parade in his new role.
He said: “We didn’t receive permission for the parade to be on the A96, but we all managed and that was the most important thing.
“The turnout was excellent – it’s difficult to estimate but I’d say there were between 200 and 300 people on what was a good day.
“The main problem was that people couldn’t see the wreaths being laid – but apart from that everything went OK.”
Keith War Memorial is now in its centenary year. That made the occasion extra special, as a cross and a poppy were planted in the garden for every name on the memorial.
“That made it a wee bit different,” Dr Harrington, who lives in Keith, added. “It was all quite poignant.
“The British Legion were pleased because all of the major players were from Keith and that’s the first time that has happened.”
As well as Strathisla Pipe Band, Keith and District Silver Band played the The Last Post. Attendees returned to the British Legion after the event.
Meanwhile, a three-figure crowd paid their respects and laid wreaths at Dufftown War Memorial – where members of 39 Engineer Regiment at Kinloss Army Barracks were in attendance.
Mortloch Primary School choir sang songs as Dufftown and District Pipe Band led a march that included 1st Dufftown Scouts.
The salute was taken by Lieutenant General Alistair Irwin and Banffshire’s lord-lieutenant Andrew Simpson before a violinist played the Last Post.
Andrew Simpson said: “There was a fantastic turnout by the community and it was great to see people from 39 Engineer Regiment joining in.
“It was all very well organised by the Royal British Legion and the school choir was terrific and added a special dimension to it.
“We read all the names of the people on the memorial which is always a good reminder that we are talking about individuals.
“It was a privilege that the lord lieutenancy was able to lay wreaths at all memorials across Banffshire. We were encouraged by the turnout at each place.
“It’s important that all those who died and served from this area are remembered.”
Communities in Newmill and Grange both held smaller ceremonies – with a dozen people in attendance at the latter, an increase on recent years.
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