Town’s time-honoured salute to Gallipoli fallen

Callants CLub president Robert Charters, Councillor Stuart Marshall and ex-KOSB Alex Burgon at the 1514 Memorial for the annual Gallipoli wreath laying ceremony
Callants CLub president Robert Charters, Councillor Stuart Marshall and ex-KOSB Alex Burgon at the 1514 Memorial for the annual Gallipoli wreath laying ceremony
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CARS drove by and people passed going about their daily business, but shortly after the Town Hall clock had struck 7pm on Tuesday a gathering around the 1514 Memorial joined to pay their respects.

Their thoughts swept back some 96 years to the brave Hawick soldiers who perished on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula during the First World War.

Robert Charters lays a wreath at the war memorial

Robert Charters lays a wreath at the war memorial

It was a similar story shortly afterwards in Wilton Lodge Park. Amid the sound of a bouncing ball, kids playing on the nearby swings and the nearby stream meandering down to join the River Teviot, the skirl of the pipes and haunting notes from the bugler echoed in the evening sunshine.

And then silence.

The annual ceremony marked the anniversary of the 1915 conflict, in which more than 300 officers and men of the 1/4th (Border) Battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers were killed and over 200 wounded.

The majority of those who died that day from the KOSB were from Hawick.

As a symbol of respect to the local men who gave the ultimate sacrifice, wreaths were laid at both the 1514 and war memorials.

Conducted by the Callants Club for several years since the Hawick Gallipoli Comrades’ Associated became depleted in numbers, the commemorative events were attended by KOSB representatives as well as members of the Ex-Servicemen’s Association and British Legion, a large number of Callants Club past presidents, council members, Councillor Stuart Marshall and members of the public.

The ceremonies were led by current president Robert Charters.

He said: “I thought the evening was a great success, with a very well attended group of supporters. Having been on the Battlefields tour last year, I felt very humble to be allowed to lay the wreaths in honour of the Callants Club and the Gallipoli Association.”

In time honoured tradition, Mr Charters hung the Callants Club wreath – with the wording “In Remembrance of the Hawick Territorials of the 1/4th Kings Own Scottish Borderers who fell bravely charging the Turkish trenches, Gallipoli, 12th July, 1915. The ancient spirit of our fathers hath not gone” – on the 1514 Memorial.

Ex-KOSB Alex Burgon uttered the immortal words of English poet Laurence Binyon, ‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old, Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them’. He followed this by reciting John Maxwell Edmonds’ World War One epitaph ‘When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today’.

The company then reassembled at the museum, where piper Colin Turnbull led the parade two abreast, before Mr Charters laid the Gallipoli Comrades wreath.

The ceremony was brought to a close by Mr Turnbull playing a lament, followed by buglker Colin Crozier’s Last Post.

An immaculately observed minute’s silence was broken by the bugler’s Reveille.