Dumfries & Galloway Standard
A sensitive touch for Lockerbie visit
In pouring rain on an icy cold December afternoon in 1998, the Duke of Edinburgh came to Lockerbie to lay a wreath.
The community had asked for a“low-key”10th anniversary of the Pan Am Air Disaster but was in favour of accepting the offer for Prince Philip to attend the ceremony in Dryfesdale Cemetery’s Garden of Remembrance.
Five years earlier, he had accompanied the Queen when she paid the same tribute.
This time, with respect for the town’s wishes, he arrived and departed without grand ceremony and without making a speech but his presence was a comfort to those gathered there and underlined the significance of the anniversary.
The then Lord Lieutenant for Dumfriesshire, the late
Captain Ronnie Cunningham Jardine, said at the time: “When we were approached by the royal household about a possible visit we explained that the wish of the community was to keep the visit as low-key as possible.
“There seemed general support though for a royal family member to lay a wreath at the memorial ceremony in the afternoon.”
Bert Ammerman, representing the American bereaved families’group, Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, said afterwards:“It was very special to have the Duke of Edinburgh here, especially as I was also here in 1993 when he came with the Queen to lay a wreath.
“It means a lot to the American families.”