News

PRESENTATION OF ELIZABETH CROSS AND MEMORIAL SCOLL

A presentation ceremony of the Elizabeth Cross and Memorial Scroll took place in the Council Chambers Dingwall, on Wednesday 3rd November 2010.
Mrs N Barrie (left) recieved the medal in memory of her brother Private Andrew Newlands who was killed in Malaya in 1952.
Miss C MacMillan (middle) recieved the medal in memory of her brother Private Allan MacMIllan who was killed in Northern Ireland in 1979.
Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty presented the medals on behalf of HM The Queen.
Major David Harvey arranged the presentation.

This Presentation Ceremony is an important occasion when we can present the families of the fallen with a tangible national recognition of their tragic loss and sacrifice.

This medal is available to relatives of those killed on active service since 1948.

PRESENTATION OF ELIZABETH CROSS AND MEMORIAL SCOLL

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 03/11/2010

Visit to Ross and Cromarty by HRH The Princess Royal

On 29th October HRH The Princess Royal visited Strathgarve Primary School, Ross County Football Club and Highland Football Academy, and Riding for the Disabled at Delny Riding Centre.

Visit to Ross and Cromarty by HRH The Princess Royal

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 31/10/2010

Earl of Wessex Visits Ross-Shire

The Earl of Wessex came to Ross-Shire on 23 September and visited Fortose Academy, the Highland Museum of Childhood where he opened the new Goods Shed Education and Storage Centre and then went on to Munro Saw Mill in Dingwall.

Earl of Wessex Visits Ross-Shire

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 07/10/2010

Arctic Convoy Veterans Meet At Cove

On perhaps the best day weather wise since the memorial at Cove was dedicated in the presence of the Russian Ambassador twelve years ago, the veterans of the Arctic Convoys met once again on Saturday 4 September to honour those who set out from Loch Ewe to never return.

On the headland with the safe anchorage of Loch Ewe on one side and the open sea on the other the monument stands at the last sight of land between the Scotland and Russia.

The service led by the Reverend Tim Daplyn, whose father sailed on the convoys, contained moving tributes from the secretary to the Arctic Convoy Veterans, Jock Dempster (who managed to enlist in the Merchant Navy at age sixteen), Janet Bowen, Lord Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh and Rob Gibson, MSP.

Mrs Bowen referred to the Battle of Britain where ‘never…. was so much owed by so many to so few’ and pointed out that for Russia this was precisely true of the Arctic Convoy Veterans. Without resupply in the early 1940’s Russia would have almost certainly lost on the Eastern Front with catastrophic consequences for the Allies. She went on, ‘So, largely unsung here at home, we remember these few who gave so much for so many, who faced danger and hardship that we who follow can scarcely comprehend. We know that those who gave their lives in this great cause gave them with effect, and we stand in humble thanks, at this special place, the last view of their mother country by the many who did not return’.

There is a growing awareness of the work of the Russian Convoys and it is hoped that small museum may be constructed at Aultbea to house memorabilia and contributions from Russia, Norway, America and Great Britain. There are also plans next year to mark the commencement of the convoys in August 1941, hopefully in the presence of the Russian Consul General from Edinburgh, and then in again in 2012 to mark the terrible loss of life on convoy PQ 17 in July 1942, a convoy in which 24 out of 35 merchants ships were sunk.

These plans are however a race against time: Arctic Convoy Veterans who can come to Poolewe are fewer year by year, but their spirit is indomitable.
Indeed it had to be: the effort applied by the Germans to disrupt the convoys was significant. By the spring of 1942, 12 convoys had made the passage with the loss of only one out of 103 ships. From then on, the threat of attacks on the convoys increased, with the Germans preparing to stop the flow of supplies to Russia with every means at their disposal, including the basing of heavy ships in Norway. In 1941, the Kriegsmarine had already begun concentrating its strength in Norway in winter, both to prevent a repeated British attack, and to obstruct Allied supply lines to Russia. The battleship Tirpitz was moved to Trondheim in January, where she was joined by Admiral Scheer and in March by the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. Initial German dispositions had also directed battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen to concentrate in Arctic waters, but these all fell victim to Allied air attacks, and had to turn back for repairs. Moreover, the Germans had bases along the length of Norway, which meant, until escort carriers became available, Allied convoys had to be sailed through these areas without adequate defence against aircraft and submarine attack.

Arctic Convoy Veterans Meet At Cove

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 08/10/2010

Duke of Rothesay Visits Ross-Shire

The Prince of Wales, known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland, visited the North Highlands to find out how his North Highland Initiative scheme is making a difference to the area’s economy.

During the visit, His Royal Highness sampled some of the local produce at a farmers’ market including cheeses, biscuits, and salmon.

The Duke launched the North Highland Initiative (NHI) in August 2005 to help promote and develop the economy and support rural communities in the region. It was formed as a direct result of The Duke’s involvement in bringing together farmers, local businesses and the tourism industry in order to address some of the challenges that rural communities in the North of Scotland are facing.

As part of the visit, The Duke met with representatives from different bodies in the area, including North Highland Tourism and North Highland Products at the Storehouse of Foulis, a new visitor attraction in Evanton.

North Highland Tourism promotes and develops the economy, and was formed as a direct result of the North Highlands Initiative, in order to highlight the area as a good tourism destination.

The Duke also spent time chatting with members of the public. Joan McDonough, 50, who works for Wester Ross Fisheries Limited which has a stall at the farmers’s market, said: “The Prince was very interested in the salmon. He was very friendly. He sampled a piece of the maple cured hot smoked salmon. He asked us about the company and the sustainability of the salmon.”

David Whiteford, Chairman of the NHI, said: "The Duke is pleased with the progress that has been made in supporting and promoting local produce. His concern was the sustainability of farming families and other traditional industries in the North of Scotland.

"The initiative has delivered against those ambitions and today we had a wide range of local produce on show to demonstrate how the support has helped.

"His support is tremendous and it’s immeasurable the impact he has. His passion is something we value enormously,” he added.

Duke of Rothesay Visits Ross-Shire

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 30/07/2010

MacDonald 60th Wedding Anniversary

On Thursday 29 July an unexpected visitor dropped by Alastair and Sheena MacDonald of Assynt Street, Evanton: Janet Bowen, Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh came to present the good wishes of Her Majesty the Queen (and a card) on the occasion of the couple’s sixtieth wedding anniversary.

Alastair, who was 95 on 12 July, has (bar war service) lived in Evanton for the whole of his life, and all of that, with the exception of five years after he got married, has all been in Assynt Street. Alastair’s memories go back to a very different Evanton from what we now know; he started work at the princely rate of £2 a week before the Second World War. But it shouldn’t be forgotten that Sheena has clocked up 60 years in Evanton as well!

Daughter Kate Ross, planned the surprise, along with her sister Alyson and bother Alastair, pictured above with their parents. Mrs Bowen said ‘I’m really delighted to be able to personally pass on the good wishes of Her Majesty, and especially so on this occasion’.

Note: If other families would like their parents diamond wedding anniversaries, or 100th birthdays marked in this way please contact June Forsyth on 01349 868500.

MacDonald 60th Wedding Anniversary

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Posted by the Lieutenancy on 29/07/2010

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