3rd Inverness

Boys' Brigade

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There was an original 3rd Inverness Company attached to the High United Free Church and this existed between 1908 and 1911. On 23rd October 1916 the number was transferred to the present company attached to the Crown Church. The first Captain was Kenneth Mackenzie who ran a furniture business in Eastgate and who was also a territorial soldier. Among the records of the early days there exists a photograph of the Boys of 1917, in uniform, digging for victory in the garden of the Crown Church Manse. In common with many other companies the Third experienced great difficulties in the years succeeding the First World War but it kept going with weekly parades in the Mission Hall on Stephen's Brae - where many of the Boys came from - and Bible Class in the Crown Church on Sunday. Among the splendid men who had a share in the work of the Third in the early days perhaps George Martin made the deepest impression. He had been an officer in the Aberdeen Battalion and he brought to the company a stern but kindly discipline, a sound knowledge of the Brigade Aims and Methods and a deep love of Boys and the B.B.

A letter received from Mr M Finlayson, 73 Midmills Road, in March 1991 contained a photograph of the Company's 1932 Senior P.T. Team which had just won the Battalion Trophy for the third successive year. It took another 57 years before the Company won it again!

The Company was in a thriving state when the Second World War broke out in 1939 and it is notable that everyone in the company who was of age, Chaplain, Captain, Officers and Staff Sergeants - enlisted at once. Everyone on the Roll Book in September 1939 saw service in H.M. Forces before it was all over. One Officer, two Staff Sergeants and a Corporal were killed in action. Their names are on the Roll of Honour in the Crown Church.

The 3rd were pioneers of intensive badge work in the Battalion. The wide range of training which leads to badges was scarcely known until 1934 when the company opened classes for a great variety of activities. As a result of the industry and enthusiasm of the Boys, badges which had never been attempted were worked for and won and the first three Kings Badges to come to the Battalion were awarded in 1936 to Sergeants of the third - Tommy MacPherson and Gordon Todd both of whom lost their lives in the War and Hugh Gardner who was later to serve a spell as Captain of the Company. Badge work was the life and soul of the company for many years - weekends in Caithness, treks in the Stratherrick hills, swimming in Elgin - appealed to the adventurous spirit of the Boy. It is also worth recording that the first three Queens Badges to come to the Battalion after the system changed, were also won by Boys of the Third - Charles Ross, Peem Guthrie and Robert Cameron.

In any history of the Company one must mention the name of Roderick Beaton. Roddie lived at Culloden Moor Station which is a good seven cycling miles from the Crown Church, yet Roddie had the distinction of receiving an award for five years perfect attendance at Drill and Bible Class. The weather on bleak Culloden Moor is often changy but the Boy got through, sometimes accompanied by Alex MacKenzie who joined him at Leanach Farm.
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