MSPs, staff and visitors will be invited to join the Presiding Officer in Holyrood’s Garden Lobby as she leads Parliament’s commemoration of those who sacrificed their lives in conflicts in the past and in more recent times.
After the Parliament has fallen silent for two minutes, bugler Angus Edmonds will play the Last Post.
The Presiding Officer will close the commemoration with a reading of Joseph Lee’s poem and salutation Tik, Johnnie!. Stuart McMillan MSP, Parliament Piper, will then pipe All the Blue Bonnets Over the Border to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of Loos.
Presiding Officer, the Rt. Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“All MSPs, staff and visitors to Holyrood are invited to join us this Armistice Day to remember those who died in the service of their country.
“As part of the commemoration, I have chosen to read Dundee-born Joseph Lee’s poem Tik, Johnnie!, written during the First World War to recognise the contribution of those from across the Empire who fought alongside their British comrades.”
Wednesday’s proceedings have been organised in partnership with the charity Legion Scotland (Royal British Legion Scotland). Legion Scotland helps ex-services men and women of all ages across Scotland to adapt to civilian life by providing community, friendship and practical advice, whether they left military service yesterday or more than fifty years ago.
Veterans from Whitefoord House will be in attendance. Located next door to the Parliament, Whitefoord House provides high quality, supported accommodation in Edinburgh for veterans who are homeless or in need through the Veterans Housing Association (SVHA).
Media access arrangements
Members of the media, including TV cameras and press photographers are invited to attend. Parliament’s in-house broadcasters will provide a live TV and audio feed of the event to all Holyrood based media organisations. The Parliament’s in-house photographer will also issue images to all picture desks. The Presiding Officer will deliver the reading at 1059hrs. All Committee business will be suspended at 1100hrs.
Order of commemoration event
Location: Garden Lobby, Scottish Parliament
1045hrs: Media RV time
1058hrs: Presiding Officer accompanied by the two Deputy Presiding Officers and the Clerk/Chief Executive will take their positions on the dais at the front of the Garden Lobby steps.
1059hrs: Two Royal British Legion Scotland Standard Bearers – Charlie and Margaret Brown from Forfar (husband and wife) – along with bugler Angus Edmonds and the Parliament Piper, Stuart McMillan MSP will march down the Garden Lobby steps and take their positions.
The Presiding Officer will read an extract from Laurence Binyon’s Ode of Remembrance.
1100hrs: Commencement of two-minute silence
1102hrs: Bugler plays Last Post
Stuart McMillan MSP plays All the Blue Bonnets Over the Border on the bagpipes
Bugler plays The Reveille
Presiding Officer reads Tik, Johnnie!
The full text of Tik, Johnnie! is reproduced below:
Allah Dad and Hira Singh,
You and I fought for the King!
Hajal Moka, Suba Khan,
You stood with us, man to man –
When we were tottering to our knees
Beneath a barbed cheval-de-frise,
And struggling through the muddy miles,
You’d meet us with a face all smiles
And – Tik, Johnnie!
When we were crouching in the trench,
And choking in the smoke and stench,
The bullets falling like a flail,
You’d pass us with a friendly hail –
And when, on stretchers dripping red,
You bore the dying and the dead,
With pity in your wistful eye,
Your greeting seemed half sob, half sigh –
I’ve seen you leaning on a wall,
Your head smashed by a rifle ball;
You’ve smiled and raised a hand and cried
Then turned upon your side and died.
May Allah, when you go above,
Grant you the heaven you would love;
And if our straying footsteps meet
Then free and friendly-like we’ll greet –