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Beacon lit on top of Moray’s highest peak to mark D-Day

By Alistair Whitfield

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A beacon was lit on top of Ben Rinnes – Moray’s highest point – to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings last Thursday.

The beacon burns and the Banffshire flag flies.
The beacon burns and the Banffshire flag flies.

The beacon’s light could be seen as far away as Craigellachie, Dufftown, Drummuir and Aberlour through the clear but very cold night.

Reverend Eddie Enslin said a short prayer as a wreath was laid in memory of all those who gave their all in the fightback against the Nazis.

Eric Grant, a former Gordon Highlander, flew the Banffshire flag, while Neil McConnachie played the pipes.

Amongst the others who braved the winds and cold walk up to the top of the peak was Alistair Laing, the estate manager at Glenrinnes, Andrew Simpson, the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, and members of the Royal British Legion’s Dufftown branch.

Braving the winds to climb to the to top of Ben Rinnes
Braving the winds to climb to the to top of Ben Rinnes

On Sunday the Dufftown branch also held a 1940s tea party with music from the era plus lots of homemade bakes and sandwiches.

The Keith to Dufftown Railway Association joined in by bringing along lots of their 1940s wartime props, including a jeep.

Enjoying the 1940s tea party.
Enjoying the 1940s tea party.

Claire Porter from the Dufftown branch said: “The two events were to remember not only those who paid the ultimate price, but those who returned completely different people with mental and physical battle scars.

“Through their sacrifices they gave us the freedom we have today.

“The events were also to remember those of all faiths and religions who served in the army, navy, merchant navy and airforce. They came together in a time of need and were there for each other.”

The Keith to Dufftown Railway Association will be running its own annual 1940s weekend on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, with trains running regularly between both stations.

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