BRAVE soldiers were honoured as members of the local Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders' Association gathered to remember the Battle of Balaclava.

A parade was held at Wellpark to commemorate the battle which broke out during the Crimean War in 1854.

It saw the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders hold off Russian Cavalry in what came to be known as the ‘Thin Red Line’, due to the line of red coats worn by the soldiers.

The single British battalion stood alone between four squadrons of charging Russian cavalry and the undefended British base.

Walter Cooke, who is a member of the local association, says it is important to remember this historical moment and the important role that local soldiers played in it.

He said: "The 93rd’s show of courage in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds resulted in the regiment being allowed to commemorate Balaclava on its colours, the only infantry regiment permitted this distinction.

"And ‘the thin red line’ is remembered in both the stirring march of that name, and the painting by Robert Gibb RSA, on display at the Scottish National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle.

"Although the phrase ‘thin red line’ is often applied generally to the British Army, it is correctly the nickname of the regiment later known as the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, now 5th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland."

To commemorate the battle, members of the local association marched to the Wellpark Cenotaph with their regimental colours and battalion flags.

Former Provost Robert Moran read out the remembrance list of the dead from Inverclyde.

Afterwards the members and their families gathered at the Custom House Hotel where they enjoyed a buffet.

Walter is keen to thank everyone who attended the event, especially their families and friends.

He said: "Lieutenant Colonel Bob Steele spoke about the history of the battle and Frank Lee left a wreath.

"Jim Boyland did the exhortation and we were superbly entertained by the piper Billy Moody."