212 (Highland) Battery, 105 Regiment Royal Artillery, fired a Royal Gun Salute at Stirling Castle on 22nd April to mark the 93rd birthday of Her Majesty the Queen.
The Reviewing Officer was Tim Allan, President of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, with music provided by The Regimental Band of The Black Watch Battalion, Army Cadet Force, marking the first-ever performance by a cadet band at a Gun Salute.
Highland RFCA hosted local Chambers of Commerce and their guests including Alison Henderson (Chief Executive, Dundee and Angus Chamber), Michael Longstaffe (Director, Fife Chamber), and Nick Allan (Director, Dunbartonshire Chamber).
All guests were escorted into the Castle Green Room by Air Training Corps Cadets from 1019 (City of Stirling) Squadron and were welcomed by Brigadier Mark Dodson, Chief Executive of HRFCA.
Brigadier Dodson thanked them for attending and highlighted HRFCA’s recently-launched ChamberFORCE initiative which continues to encourage a strong partnership between the Armed Forces community and businesses across the Highlands and Islands.
A short briefing on the history of Gun Salutes was given by Major Lee Patchell, Battery Commander of 212 (Highland) Battery. Major Patchell spoke about the level of training each soldier must go through to ensure a polished and accurate Gun Salute.
Following the successful firing of 21 rounds – which was also watched by members of the public and proud families and friends – Tim Allan inspected both the Troop and the Army Cadet Band before joining guests in giving three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen.
A lunch was provided for all guests and Mr Allan gave a brief talk about the important contribution made by members of the reserve forces and service cadet organisations across the whole of Scotland, both to the commercial world and more broadly to their own communities and society as a whole.
He also took the opportunity to mention ChamberFORCE, saying: “ I want to congratulate Michelle Mckearnon personally for getting this started and note that there have already been a number of successful events since the pilot started six months ago. I offer the full support of Scottish Chambers of Commerce and hope that following the pilot project other Chambers will want to get involved.”
The day concluded with a private tour of the Castle for guests, courtesy of Historic Scotland.