Friday, 21 March 2014

Local pipe band will honour war-dead

A North Ayrshire pipe band will travel later this year to Belgium where they will take part in a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Ypres.

The Isle of Cumbrae RBLS Pipe Band, which includes members from the Three Towns, will also play at the Menin Gate during the trip in October. Every evening since 1928 the ‘Last Post’ has been played at the gate in memory of the thousands of soldiers who died in the First World War but who have no known resting place. The soldiers’ names are recorded at the gate.

During their time there, band members will lay memorial crosses in remembrance of men from North Ayrshire who lost their lives.

There will be added significance to the band’s visit to Ypres, scene of one of the most intense and bloody conflicts of the entire war. Ypres and the Battle of La Bassee were amongst the first engagements of the terrible conflict that, at the time, was called ‘the war to end all wars’. Scottish soldiers, including many from North Ayrshire towns, were involved in the fighting, suffering significant numbers of dead and wounded.

The Isle of Cumbrae band will be in Belgium and northern France between October 17th and 20th, during which they will play at a number of remembrance events, including at Le Touret , Armentieres and Messines.

Previously the band visited Belgium in August 2007 when they took part in the unveiling ceremony of a monument in Zonnebeke, which was erected by the local council to commemorate the Scottish soldiers and those of Scottish descent who fought in Flanders and on the Western Front during the First World War.

The band would be pleased to hear from any local families or organisations who would wish a memorial cross laid in memory of anyone known to them who are commemorated at any of the memorials to the fallen of the ‘Great War’ – contact

Locals can hear the band on Sunday, March 23rd, when they will lead a parade along the seafront at Ardrossan to a remembrance service for the sailors who died when HMS Dasher sank in the Firth of Clyde between Ardrossan and Arran in 1943.

The Isle of Cumbrae RBLS Pipe Band holds practice sessions in Saltcoats and Kilwinning, and is always on the look-out for new recruits.

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