Selkirk’s Flodden links were again cemented when a large contingent descended on the site a few weeks short of the battle’s quincentenary.
Royal Burgh Standard Bearer Martin Rodgerson and his Attendants led a lagre number who joined the record 464-strong mounted cavalcade. Provost David Anderson joined representatives from across the Borders who laid thistles at the 1513 monument.
Coldstreamer Grant Campbell carried the town flag. He said: “It was one of the best weeks of my life. It has been everything I though it would be – and more.”
The Flodden Oration was delievered by Scottish Secreaty and local MP Michael Moore.
Provost Anderson told The Wee Paper: “It was a super day. Michael Moore’s oration was excellent. It was very sombre, it was well pitched. Flodden is a place where many people died. It has a very unique atmosphere because of the historical significance of it. It’s quite eerie. There was a record turnout of horses and I imagine a record amount of cars and supporters. I think the people of Coldstream would be quite pleased.
“The events in September will be even more significant because they will be based around the anniversary of the battle. It will be very important.”
It was clear that this, the 500th anniversary, was something special. Flodden is an almost forgotten victory south of the border and – although it touched almost every city, town, village and hamlet north of the border – is not widely commemorated in Scotland. Not so here in the Borders .
Last Thursday there were poignant prayers; there was singing of hymns; there was sod-cutting; there was the dipping of the flag; there was silence and there was the sound of bugle – Last Post and the reassuring Reveille.
Mr Moore commented: “As with all Flodden-related ceremonies, we don’t just remember the strategic failure and the tactical disaster. With our English friends we remember the human dimension, humanity and inhumanity, side by side. Nobody needs to think why we still commemorate or reflect on Flodden.”
And he concluded with Jane Elliot’s lines from The Liltin’:
“We’ll hae nae mair liltin at the ewe milkin’,
Women an’ bairnies are heartless and awe;
Sighin’ and moanin’ on ilka green laonin’,
The flo’ers o’ the forest are a’ wede away.”