The enduring symbol of those who fought and died so that we could live in peace, the red poppy, has been given a poignant role adorning the burgh of Peebles, recalling those poetic words – we will remember them.

Marking the centenary of the Great War, these spectacular memorials have been inscribed with the names of brave local soldiers who served from 1914-18, and mounted on lampposts throughout the town, capturing the hearts and minds of the community.

And to mark the wars that have scarred our past and the bravery of the men and women who fought them, a vibrant projection of this significant flower graces the Parish Church each evening.

Every year in November, the nation bows their heads remembering not just those who fought, but what they fought for.

The growth of the poppies around Peebles was inspired by Deputy Lieutenant of Tweeddale, Adrian Lucas, who along with this community will be remembering his son Alec, who tragically lost his life during a tour in Afghanistan in November 2008.

Inspired to mark the 100 year anniversary, Adrian personally penned the 230 names of the fallen on poppies, and credits the Peebles Callants for their help in making sure these red and black flowers are displayed in their glory throughout the town.

Speaking to the Peeblesshire News this week, Adrian said: “The Callants have been great, it is thanks to them that these poppies have been erected, I couldn’t have done it without them”

A vision of the poppy on the Old Parish came to Adrian whilst driving along the High Street, and with the technical assistance of Richard Hogg from the Eastgate, this dream became a reality. Its red glow signifies history, and calls out to the community to remember the names of heroes inscribed on Peebles War Memorial.

The poppies have had the desired effect Adrian hoped for, with families and their young stopping and looking at the poppies, evoking deep conversation.

“The response has been very moving”, said Adrian. “To see people stopping to look at the names on the poppies and telling their children what they represent is of great importance.”

Adrian recalls a conversation on the steps of the Tontine Hotel with retired major John Currie, who asked – “Do you think people in this day in age are interested in this historic time and remembrance.”

And the answer Adrian said, is yes. He told us: “I will never forget the day my son was buried, businesses shut their shops and hundreds of people in this town lined the streets to pay their respects. The people in this town embrace what is important.”

On behalf of the Royal Burgh of Peebles Callants, Chief Callant Andrew Williamson, added: “We would like to thank Deputy Lieutenant Adrian Lucas for the opportunity to help put up poppies in recognition of the men who gave their lives for their country.

“It was a pleasure being involved in such a fitting tribute to these men. I hope everyone in the town has the pleasure in walking round and reading the names of these great men who paid with their lives.”

Echoing those sentiments is Leader of Scottish Borders Council and Peebles resident, Shona Haslam, who added: “I think I speak for the whole town in expressing our thanks to Adrian Lucas and the Callants for this incredibly moving tribute to those who gave their lives in the war.

“Seeing the number of poppies brings home of the sacrifice that so many families in Peebles made, and reading the names you see how many families were involved. There are a lot of common surnames still recognisable today, that demonstrate the impact war had on our town. A fitting, moving and beautiful tribute.”

A call to arms has been made to children from primary schools in the town to carry the name of each of the 230 fallen in a commemorative parade this Saturday, along the High Street at 10am.

They will be joined by Standard Bearers from the Royal British Legion, as well as Army Cadets and Peebles Ex-Servicemen’s Pipe Band.

Despite stormy weather fiercely battering these poppies, they remain firmly in place and refuse to submit to the wind, just as the brave men named on each of one of them, who refused to surrender to the enemy, and fought and died so that we could have freedom.

* Families of the fallen can obtain the poppy once they are removed from the lampposts, by emailing A donation of £1 is requested, which will go to Poppy Scotland who kindly donated them.