Yesterday, our mascot, Bugle the Assaye Elephant visited Holy Fair with Armed Forces Day and Pipes in the Park in:
“Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses.
For honest men and bonnie lasses”
And, it certainly would have been difficult surpass the beautiful Low Green: “hoochin'” with numerous honest men, bonnie lassies and their excited children enjoying the sunshine; dancing and piping competitions; many sideshows, stalls and military displays.
A short service and reading of the Armed Forces Covenant, followed by the raising of the Armed Forces Day flag, marked the official opening of the event – at which, there was a good number of The Royal Scots Fusiliers Old Comrades Association.
The Royal Scots Fusiliers (RSF) was raised by the 5th Earl of Mar in 1678 as the 21st of Foot and known as Mar’s Grey Breeks and saw service in virtually every conflict since – one of their most infamous actions was to loot and burn the White House in Washington DC after the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814. The Regiment was given Churchill Barracks in Ayr as their depot in 1873 and became the official Ayrshire regiment under the Childers Reforms of 1881. Of course, the RSF amalgamated with The Highland Light Infantry (HLI) in 1959 to form The Royal Highland Fusiliers.
Bugle not only met the RSF Old Comrades, he also had a few words with the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire, Mr John Duncan, and the Provost of South Ayrshire, Councillor Helen Moonie; and finally visited the Erskine Stall – amazing to think that Erskine has been caring for ex-Servicemen & Women for 101 years!
Of course, the Bugle the Assaye Elephant, dating from the Battle of Assaye in 1803, is some 113 years older – but who’s counting?