Hundreds of people across South Ayrshire came together to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War and remember those lost in battle - gathering on beaches, at war memorials in towns and villages and in woodlands.
The commemorations in Ayr began with the sound of the bagpipes playing Battle’s O’er beside the Cenotaph in Ayr’s Wellington Square at 6am before the commemorations moved to Ayr beach for the Pages of the Sea tribute, led by film director Danny Boyle and organised in conjunction with the National Theatre of Scotland.
Ayr was one of six Scottish locations selected for the tribute and featured the stunning creation of a sand portrait of Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, the British Army’s first black officer. Walter’s great grand-nephew, Tor Justad, was there and said he was very moved by the tribute to his ancestor and the other soldiers like him who gave their lives in battle.
Ayr veteran, William Brodie (87), whose grandfather and great-uncle fought in the war, said: “This is a gracious tribute and recognition for all those who have served and I’m glad I came along to see it.”
Many of the hundreds at the beach – including South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie – created sand silhouettes representing the many who never to returned.
The Service of Remembrance at the Auld Kirk in Ayr featured the banner of more than 4,100 knitted, crocheted and handmade poppies created by people and communities across South Ayrshire and was followed by a parade to the Cenotaph at Wellington Square, where Reverend David Gemmell gave a moving sermon on learning the lessons of war and recognising the sacrifices that others had made for the greater good. Wreaths were laid by Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire & Arran, Sheriff Iona McDonald, Provost Moonie, members of Parliaments and the council, and representatives of the armed forces, British Legion, Ayr Ex-Services Club, schools and communities.
A new carving was also unveiled in the Remembrance Woodland at Rozelle House to commemorate the centenary of the RAF and the end of WW1.
Provost Moonie said: “The commemorations show that the memories and the legacies of all those lost through battles and wars well and truly live on and that, here in South Ayrshire, we know we will ne’er forget the people.”
“I was humbled and moved by the support shown by our people and places and was very proud to be part of this historic occasion marking the centenary of the end of World War One.
“My thanks to everyone who took the time to participate, pay tribute and show that South Ayrshire remembers.”