West Lothian has been paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his death on Friday.
People have been sharing what Prince Philip meant to them after he passed away aged 99.
Alan Hamilton MBE TD, president of the Livingston Branch of the Royal British Legion (Legion Scotland), said he was honoured to have met the Duke of Edinburgh twice and said he was a credit to his country.
He said: “I remember both vividly and my fondest memory is of a garden party in Holyrood Palace.”
My wife was looking around the crowd and said that she could see the Queen but where was Prince Philip? A voice from behind her said, ‘Well I’m here,’, we then spent a few minutes in his entertaining, interesting and good humoured company.
“He was an example to us all of a man who knew, understood and lived duty, dedication and service. A war veteran, he had faced danger and in peacetime he was the epitome of devotion to our Queen, our country its people and its armed forces.
“Our motto in Legion Scotland is ‘Service Not Self’ and I can think of no better example of how to live that motto than Prince Philip.”
West Lothian’s Lord Lieutenant, Moira Niven, the Queen’s representative in the county extended her condolences to the Royal Family.
She said: “Prince Phillip led an extraordinary life and I’d like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the entire Royal Family at this sad time.”
Provost Tom Kerr added: “On behalf of the citizens of West Lothian, we send a message of sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen following the passing of her husband, his Royal Highness Prince Phillip.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to The Royal Family at this poignant time. He had a long and remarkable life and as a mark of our respect we have flown our flags at half-mast.”
Members of Bathgate Community Council also turned their thoughts to Prince Philip’s influence in West Lothian.
A post on its Facebook page reads: “In all the press notices that have been published in the wake of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, only the briefest of mentions has been made to the time he spent as First Lieutenant on board HMS Wallace.
“His service on board that particular destroyer has a special importance to the county of West Lothian in that this was the warship which was ‘adopted’ by West Lothian as part of a series of measures introduced by the then Government to encourage people to save - the so called ‘War Savings Week’ with money saved during that week then used to provide for the troops on board various ships and destroyers as well as provide additional funding in various areas of war production and investment.
“Accordingly War Savings Week was launched in West Lothian on May 23, 1942. It was a great success with the county raising £547,000 during that week - the initial target had been only £210,000.
“Bathgate alone had raised over £100,000 of the total amount. To acknowledge the role played by the county, a special plaque was presented to the officers and men of HMS Wallace.
“On the occasion of the announcement of his betrothal to the Princess Elizabeth, an ex-provost of Bathgate and chairman of the West Lothian Savings Association, James Wright, wrote to the prince proferring his congratulations. Prince Philip responded thus:
“I thank you and all who joined with you most heartily for your kind message of congratulations.
“I well remember when HMS Wallace was adopted by your county, the moving little ceremony we had on board when we exchanged plaques. It has been a great disappointment to me that we could never repay your visit.
“We both thank you most cordially for writing at this time.”
What happened to Prince Philip after his time in the Navy is too well known to be recounted here. However the fate of HMS Wallace is not often recounted. As such having served during the War off Sicily as well as providing support for ships off the East Coast of the United Kingdom, she was involved in a collision off the Humber on May 16, 1945. Deemed not worth repairing, she was sold off for scrap - just five weeks before VE Day.
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