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The opening of the Stornoway garden of remembrance took place yesterday (Friday 26th October) outside the Ross Battery memorial at the Drill Hall on Church Street to mark the beginning of a fortnight of remembrance linked to Armistice Day.

The ceremony featured invited dignitaries, along with pupils from Stornoway Primary and The Nicolson Institute, to participate in the opening act of commemoration of a particularly poignant anniversary for the islands. The group gathered around the two white crosses marked out on the grass.

Sergeant Tommy Stewart, of the local company of the Scots Regiment opened the ceremony; Donald Martin, Lord-Lieutenant of the Western Isles, read the poignant poem 'Red Silence' by school pupil Rachael Mosley of Dunoon; Annie Barber, head girl of The Nicolson Institute gave a reading; and Reverend Fraser Stewart led the group in prayer before a minute's silence.

Small wooden crosses were then placed within the two white crosses on the grass to mark the memorials of those fallen in conflict whilst serving in the armed services.

The small wooden crosses will be sold as mini-memorials, and they can be placed by the public at the memorial garden at any time over the next two weeks. The crosses can be written on to dedicate them to a loved one lost in service. Similar gardens have previously been created at Inverness and in other towns and cities around Britain.

With it being 100 years since the Armistice which bought an end to the First World War on November 11th, 1918, there are anniversary events continuing up until the centenary of the Iolaire tragedy on January 1st 2019. 

Poppy pins and collecting tins are now available in shops, businesses and public buildings around Lewis and Harris, with all money collected donated via Poppy Scotland to support veterans.

(This article has been updated with a correct first name for Reverend Fraser Stewart since first being published.)