The staff sergeant who mans 7 Scots base at Stornoway Drill Hall was today (Thursday June 27th) taking pride of place at the Last Post ceremony in Canberra, Australia.
Sgt Tommy Stewart, known to his colleagues in 7 Scots as ‘Batco’, is on holiday in Australia with his wife, Kenna. While visiting the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, he had asked permission to lay a memorial cross for a Scottish-born soldier killed in action while serving with Australian forces at Gallipoli.
To Tommy’s surprise he was invited not just to lay a wreath, but to join the daily evening service of remembrance at the memorial, together with senior officers from the Australian forces, a bugler, piper and a full guard of honour.
The ceremony, which takes place at 4.55pm every day (Canberra time) was streamed live on Facebook, so that Tommy could be seen this morning at this side of the world, laying a wreath of Australian flowers and leaves in memory of Private Donald Macleod of Aultbea in Ross-shire, who served in the 13th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force and was killed in action at Gallipoli.
Posting his reaction on Facebook today, Tommy said: “Words fail me on the events tonight. Totally humbled to be part of it all.”
Pictures show the wreath and the Australian War Memorial, together with a screen shot of the moment when Tommy laid his wreath (front of picture).