Gunner joins final parade
Linzi Watson • Published 30 Jun 2012 14:00
A GOUROCK army gunner has marched at Edinburgh Castle in his soon-to-be disbanded historic regiment's final homecoming.
Warrant Officer, 2nd Class Alan Crawford, 33, joined veterans and officers at the rare parade in the capital city.
It was staged as the 40th Regiment Royal Artillery, The Lowland Gunners, prepares to disband for good at the end of the year as part of controversial cuts to the military.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) outlined a need for cuts to the armed forces leading to the 65-year-old regiment being placed into 'suspended animation' meaning that it will cease to exist.
Former Gourock High School pupil, WO2 Crawford, enlisted in 1997 and has served in Bosnia, Iraq, Cyprus, Kenya, Canada, Belize, and Afghanistan.
He will be posted to a new Royal Artillery Regiment in the next few months.
The local dad-of-two said: "While it is with sadness that we saw the Regiment move into suspended animation, it was also a time to celebrate the history, tradition, and service that The Lowland Gunners have contributed during the last seven decades.
"The parade also provided the opportunity for the Regiment to thank the people of Edinburgh for the extremely warm welcome that we have always received on the numerous occasions that we have come home to conduct ceremonial duties over the years.
"We were also greatly honoured to have been awarded the Privilege [Freedom] of Edinburgh, prior to the Regiment being placed into suspended animation."
He added: "I am confident the memory of 40th Regiment Royal Artillery will live on for years to come."
This article appeared in Greenock Telegraph 30 Jun 12