People of Dumfries give freedom of their town to The Royal British Legion Scotland

  • Video report by Matthew Taylor

The people of Dumfries have given the freedom of their town to The Royal British Legion Scotland during a ceremonial parade.

It is only the 4th time the town has granted the honour. It's to commemorate the centenary year of the legion.

It was with much ceremony and a lot of pride that Dumfries and its residents gave one of the world's oldest veteran charities the honour.

Fiona Armstrong, Dumfries Lord Lieutenant said: “For us, this is such an honour for Dumfries and Galloway to be able to host Legion Scotland and to give them this honour today.

"And don't they deserve it 100 years of looking after people, ex-servicemen and women and their families, they really deserve this honour.”

Even the motorcycle branch got involved with a number of veterans and their supporters turning up to the event at the Crichton Estate.

Michelle Mulqueen, Royal British Legion Riders' Branch said: “I think it's so good for the Legion. It makes you really proud to be part of the Legion and to be recognized for what the Legion does for people. So it's a great honour."

Among those there was Alan Harkness, who was with the Royal Air Force during the Cold War against Russia.

He reflected on current threats from that country and said: "What's going on at the moment, I'm sure the boys will remember the old days. You just got to be ready for if they come too close. You just got to be ready to react.

"Unfortunately, in this day and age, it's a reaction to service rather than an action service. We can't get openly involved in another country's affairs."

The Royal British Legion Scotland was founded by Field Marshal Earl Haig in June 1921 to help some of the hundreds of thousands of veterans in Scotland and their families who were affected by the First world War.

He brought together several charities that had been established to assist those returning from the war.

Field Marshal Earl Haig, who was living at his home in Bemersyde House in the Scottish borders after the conflict, wanted to help wounded soldiers and the families of those who had died.

Saturday’s ceremonial day in Dumfries was completed by a service at Creighton Church, when those there could give thanks to an organisation that has helped so many who gave so much for their country.