On Sunday, in brilliant sunshine, the
standards of Maybole branch of the Royal British Legion
Scotland were handed over to Culzean Castle for
on a visit to the
Marquess of Ailsa and
that visit that
Maybole branch was formed as the first branch in
At a Drumhead Service held in Maybole
Memorial Park on June 25, 1939 the Branch was presented
with their first Queen's Standard and a Branch Standard.
That first Branch Standard was laid up for safe keeping
at Culzean Castle on June 30, 1996 and was retained in
the main entrance to the Armoury. The first Queen's
Standard, which for many years had been carried by the
town's Women's Branch, was laid up in Maybole West
Parish Church on June 24, 2001.
In June this year, the Branch Standard
was taken back by the branch as it was required for a
unique service of Trooping of the Colours at Maybole
Sunday’s event was held on the front lawn
of Culzean Castle, overlooking the Fountain Court. In
addition to returning that Standard, the branch’s Royal
Standard was to be handed over for safe keeping.
Invited guests included Mary Kilpatrick,
Depute Provost of South Ayrshire Council, Branch
President Colonel John F Dalrymple Hamilton. OBE; TD;
DL, Police Inspector Stewart Gaudin and Councillors Alan
Murray, Brian Connolly, John McDowall and Ian
Fitzsimmons. David Hunter, Branch Chairman, was Parade
Jim Campbell sounded "Fall In" and
"Advance" and Maybole Pipe Band led the parade on to the
lawn. Their drums provided the altar for the service
which was conducted by Branch Padre Rev David Whiteman
and Fr Stephen McGrattan.
The two standards were carried by Robert
Malone and William Milligan who passed them to David
Kiltie and George Taylor who in turn passed them to Mike
Schafer, Property Manager for Culzean who accepted them
for safe keeping on behalf of the National Trust for
The service began with Mr Whiteman
welcoming everyone and explaining what was about to
happen and then introducing the
hymn “Guide me o thou great Jehovah”,
with Gwen May from the Baptist church accompanying on
Fr McGrattan read Psalm 20 and Mr
Whiteman then said, “Today we gather to lay up the
original colours of Maybole branch of the Royal British
Legion Scotland which were dedicated in 1939.
Psalm 20 reminds us that we lift our
banners in the name of the Lord our God and so all
military colours are dedicated to him.
Colours were originally used in battle as
a rallying point, the colours stirred the soldiers into
action, colours were carried into battle with pride.
The standards that we are laying up today
represent the ideal of Service to God, Queen and
The Union Flag bears the crosses of St
George, St Andrew and St Patrick. Beneath these crosses
all the great epics of chivalry in our history have been
achieved. The union flag brings those great traditions
together in unity.
Added to the crosses are the Blue and Old
Gold of The Royal British Legion Scotland. The Blue
reminds us of all of those who have died on the sea and
in the air and the Gold represents those who have died
in the service of their country on land.
The tassels remind us of the beginning
and ending of life and the cord the golden line along
which all Legionnaires pass during their brief sojourn
on earth. The Golden Fringe depicts an encompassing
border which binds us all together.
And so we have represented on our
Standards, our Service to God, Queen and Country.
Our Standards are no mere flags and
bunting; they are sacred emblems which have been
solemnly dedicated. Beneath their folds, in keeping with
our motto:-"Service Not Self" all brothers-in-arms may
seek solace and relief.
Our Standards throughout the United
Kingdom are all of like design as emblems of brotherhood
and equality and embrace the fact that we are non
sectarian or directly or indirectly connected to any
And so we now hand over our standards to
Culzean castle for keeping.”
The drummers then collected their drums
and William Milligan handed the Branch Standard to David
Kiltie who carried it to Mike Schafer saying,
"Sir, we return to Culzean Castle this
Branch Standard of the Royal British Legion Maybole
Branch for its continued safe keeping". Mr Schafer
replied, "I accept the charge."
Robert Malone then handed the Queen's
Standard to George Taylor who passed it to Mr Schafer
saying, “Sir, I commit to you this Sacred Royal Standard
of the Maybole Branch of The Royal British Legion
Scotland for safe keeping within Culzean Castle.”
He then handed the standard to Mr Schafer
who replied, "On behalf of The National Trust for
Scotland, I accept the charge."
The parade then marched off to the car
park for dismissal.