5 Scots marching into the Cathedral

VIDEO: I just watched this clip and it brought tears to my eyes

At the Boys Langton while studying early 19th century European history, we watched the 1970 epic Waterloo.

It tells the story, of course, of the famous battle which signalled Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815 and which did so much to reshape the continent.

My favourite moment comes towards the film’s denouement when Rod Steiger’s Napoleon, arrogantly sensing victory, is suddenly presented with the march of the Highlanders.

There is an cacophony of rolling drums and bagpipes as the Scots soldiers emerge from the mist over the top of a hill.

It was one of those captivating film moments that lives with you forever.

On Saturday I was having a drink with three former Scottish soldiers who had served Argyll and Sutherlanders, the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, stationed at Howe Barracks before it closed and they moved out.

After leaving the military all three remained in Canterbury and took up civilian life here. One told me there was a video on YouTube of the infantryman marching down Burgate and into Cathedral for a service.

I’ve just watched it for the first time – and it brought tears to my eyes.

Dated June 2013, 5, the video captures the beautiful pomp and ceremony of the British military.

The soldiers are led into the Buttermarket by the drummer and bagpipe players. You can even glimpse the donkey that served as their mascot.

They are met are met with wild applause and cheering by the people of Canterbury in an outpouring of emotion.

There really is no greater sight than the Scots in full ceremonial uniform accompanied by all that noise and colour.

And the message to the soldiers on that day from Canterbury was a simple one: thank you.

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