A crowd including pupils from Stornoway Primary, Laxdale Primary and the Nicolson Institute gathered today in Perceval Square in the centre of Stornoway to mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week, which culminates in Armed Forces Day 2019 which will be held on Saturday 29 June.

The Nicolson Institute pipe band opened proceedings with a musical performance which was followed by a minute’s silence.

The pipe band’s performance is the latest example of schools involvement in armed forces commemorations.

Council Convener Norman Macdonald said, “The work of our armed forces is often dangerous, they are busy working around the world promoting peace delivering aid, providing security and fighting terrorism.”

“They work tirelessly to ensure the safety of children and young people. We would like to take this opportunity to show our support to all those who are working to defend the United Kingdom and her interests. “

“On behalf of the community of the Western Isles I commend the work of our armed forces.”

Following Mr Macdonald’s introduction Francis Jefferson of the Royal British Legion raised the Armed Forces Day flag above Perceval Square.

After the raising of the flag Lord Lieutenant Donald Martin presented representatives from the Nicolson Institute with a certificate of excellence from WW100 Scotland, Scottish Commemorations Panel.

Mr Martin said, “School pupils from across the Western Isles played a memorable role in both the World War 1 and Iolaire centenary commemorations.”

 “I was asked to nominate schools in the Western Isles that I thought merited the certificate of excellence. In the Western Isles all 24 schools participated and they did so well that we took the decision to nominate them all.”

“The other 23 schools will be presented with their certificates at prize giving’s before the end of this week.”