Members of the Scouts from across the Salisbury & South Wilts area gathered at Salisbury Guildhall for a special and poignant ceremony on Sunday (18 September). The event, which saw Beaver Scouts, Cub Scouts, Scouts and Explorer Scouts, alongside adult volunteers and their families was an opportunity to pause, reflect and give thanks for the lifetime of devoted service of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and was also attended by Deputy Lieutenant Dr Phil Harding, the Mayor and Mayoress of Salisbury, Councillors Tom and Caroline Corbin, as well as the Right Reverend Stephen Lake, Bishop of Salisbury.

Throughout her reign, she was an avid supporter of Scouts in the United Kingdom, across The Commonwealth and around the world, and served as Patron of the Scouts. This dedication and service to the Scouts has been honoured this past week, with 120 Scouts aged 18-25 from across the UK volunteering to support the thousands of people who’ll be paying their respects to HM The Queen in London this week – Scouts have a long history of supporting the nation and serving our communities: we’re honoured to play our part.

In Salisbury, at dusk, some 300 young people and their families gathered at the foot of the steps of Salisbury Guildhall, to remember Queen Elizabeth. Making a promise was the theme of the short sermon, given by Scouts Chaplain Reverend Katy Ullyatt, where the young people were encouraged to think about the promise the young, then Princess Elizabeth made in her famous address of April 1947, before the District Commissioner for the Scouts, Ian Porter, led the young people and volunteers in renewing their promises, reaffirming everyone’s resolve to serve the community and the new King, King Charles III.

Dr Phil Harding DL remarked “I become a scout some fifty years ago, but the promise we have all renewed this evening is just as relevant today, as these young people learn to become good citizens in their communities and they develop skills and qualities that prepare them for later life.”

The Bishop of Salisbury offered a blessing and prayers to both Her Late Majesty and His Majesty The King, before the civic party arrived to mark the nationwide moment of silence and reflection. This was marked by the Last Post, and the event finished in darkness with the National Anthem, played by the Salisbury City Band of the Royal British Legion.

Ian Porter, District Commissioner for the Scouts commented “it was brilliant to see so many young people, our volunteers and their families supporting this poignant event. Her Majesty has led a life of service and devotion, and really has been an example to us all.”