Scotty’s Little Soldiers: Bereaved Military children march in memory of their heroes

This Remembrance weekend, 46 members of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved British Armed Forces children and young people, gathered in London to pay tribute to their military parents.

Donned in their distinctive black and yellow Scotty scarves, the children took part in the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance and marched past the Cenotaph at the National Service of Remembrance in memory of their heroes.

Scotty Member Lennon Palin (13) attended the march in honour of his dad, Cpl Mark Palin, a soldier in the 1st Rifles, who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. He was 33 years old. Lennon was just one. This year’s Remembrance Sunday also coincided with his dad’s birthday.

Lennon said:

Taking part in the parade today made me feel really proud to represent my dad and honour the sacrifice he made for our country. Being with other members of Scotty’s little Soldiers makes me feel happy because I know everyone will stick by your side no matter what.”

Scotty Member Isabelle Bovington (8) was just one when her dad, LNN Thomas Bovington, a leading naval nurse in Queen Alexander’s Royal Naval Nursing Service, died of a genetic heart condition. He was 30 years old. Isabelle was the youngest person marching in this year’s National Service of Remembrance.

She said:

I thought taking part in the Remembrance parade was amazing! I enjoyed seeing everybody and watching all the people clapping me when I was marching.”

Scotty Member Cooper Hargreaves (9) joined the march for his dad, SSgt Christopher Hargreaves, a photographer in the Royal Logistics Corps. When he was 42 years old, Christpher died by suicide. Cooper was only three. This year, Cooper laid the wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of all of Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ members.

He said:

Laying the wreath was nerve-wracking, but really special. When it was over I just thought – wow. I felt very proud.”

Scotty Member Logan Prior (12) was only one month old when his dad, Pte Daniel Prior, a soldier in the Parachute Regiment, suffered a fatal injury in Afghanistan. He was 27 years old. Logan has no memories of his dad.

Logan said:

Remembrance was really good and I loved waving to people and saluting the princess. For me, Remembrance means remembering my dad and all the good things he did for the world.”

The event was attended by His Majesty King Charles III and notable political figures including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Witnessing the collective tribute to their parents’ service was a deeply moving experience for Scotty’s members and showed firsthand that their loss has not been forgotten.

Many of Scotty’s members were wearing their parent’s medals with pride, as well as personalised medals that Scotty’s sent them ahead of Remembrance, funded by the British public through a crowdfunder.

The charity’s founder, Nikki Scott, said:

“Remembrance can be really tough for bereaved military families, but it’s also a time for everyone to come together and honour our loved ones. Every member of Scotty’s has experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, and seeing so many of those children and young people stand shoulder to shoulder, paying tribute to their parents, filled me with pride. Being part of the Remembrance service is always an amazing, humbling experience, and something our members gain so much from. It really helps everyone feel connected and part of the same military community.”

Over the weekend, Scotty’s members wore their black and yellow Scotty’s scarves to show solidarity as bereaved military children. These colours were chosen to match those of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, where Scotty’s namesake, Corporal Lee “Scotty” Scott, served before being killed in Afghanistan in 2009. Lee was the husband of Scotty’s Little Soldiers’ founder, Nikki Scott, who created the charity in his memory in 2010.

To hear more about what Remembrance means to bereaved military children, check out Scotty’s ‘We Will Always Miss Them’ animation – created with guidance from the Scotty’s Council.

A special thank you to Rail Delivery Group for providing Scotty’s Little Soldiers with complimentary travel to London; to Poppy Cabs for arranging transport in London; to Lest We Forget for funding Scotty’s London Remembrance weekend activities; and to Veterans’ Foundation for funding Scotty’s Remembrance meal vouchers for Scotty families.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers currently support over 650 bereaved military children and young people. Their mission is to support over 1000 bereaved military children and young people annually by 2030.

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By @Cobseo 55 years ago

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