We were all up bright and early to have a hearty breakfast (some of us had two!!!) before we set off for the Gaelic Service on the Culloden Battlefield We arrived nice and early and I have to admit it looked as if there was going to be a poor turnout, with about fifteen minutes to go it wasn?t looking good! Then from all corners of the moor folk started to arrive in their droves, some dressed in period costume others with their finest attire.
This is always a colourful although sombre event but some of the Jacobites standing with us could have easily risen from the earth this very day such was their appearance, very spooky to say the least.
We were welcomed to the service which is held every year by the Gaelic Society of Inverness. Their representative proceeded to speak to us first in Gaelic, then in English, always nice to hear the Gaelic at this worthy commemoration. We then had the Reverend Kenneth D. MacLeod performing the service in both languages once again to a hushed audience.
Next up was writer Kellan MacLean to tell us a few stories of the Battle of Culloden and specifically some of the people and clans involved, always good to hear wee stories you?ve not heard before!!
We then had a lament played on the Great Highland Bagpipes by Dr Angus MacDonald from Glenuig in Moidart, and what a fine player he is too, he walked round to the back of the monument still playing as he walked farther away with the tune fading delicately away, a lovely wee touch indeed!!
The assembled crowd were then invited to lay their wreaths and flowers in an orderly and dignified manner befitting of the day and Alec Mowatt had the honour of laying the Crann Tara wreath this year and a splendid job he did as well, well done Sir!!
There was then a short closing speech on behalf of the Gaelic Society of Inverness thanking everyone who were present, people had come from all corners of the world to pay their respects for Scotland?s fallen sons and to pay tribute to their bravery on this 263rd anniversary of that awful day in Scottish history, April the 16th 1746. Alba Gu Brath
By George Boyle