Provost pays tribute to reservists

Army Reserves Day 2018

To mark Army Reserves Day on Wednesday 27 June, Midlothian’s provost, Councillor Peter Smaill has paid tribute to the council’s reservists, including risk and safety advisor Grant Kenny, pictured.

A former Royal Engineer

Decorated 10 times, Grant served with The Royal Engineers for 23 years, 19 of those as an army commando.

Served his country abroad

During his distinguished career, Grant saw active service in countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

Three reservists in the council

Grant, who lives in East Lothian with wife Lesley and two daughters, Samantha and Lucy,  is one of three reservists in the council. As a member of the Regular Reserves, Grant can be called up to serve his country right up until the age of 60.

Working in lifelong learning and teaching

The other two reservists are Fiona Williamson, a secondary school teacher at Lasswade High School and lifelong learning and employability worker Chris Elliott.

Vital role

Cllr Smaill said: “It is a real honour to hear more about the vital role our reserves play in emergencies and during threats to national security.

“Meeting Grant was absolutely fascinating. His active service was awe inspiring, as were his collection of well-deserved medals.

“During Armed Forces Week and Army Reserves Day, it is very important to acknowledge the debt we owe people like Grant, Fiona and Chris."

Flag raising

To mark the start of Armed Forces Week, the provost will also be attending the annual flag raising ceremony at Penicuik Town Hall on Monday 25 June.

More about reservists

Note: The Army Reserve is the largest of the Reserve Forces. As well as Regular Reserves, who have previously served in the army, people can be Volunteer Reserves.

According to MOD statistics, in October 2017 reserves make up about one sixth of armed forces personnel.

Fiona's service

Fiona is a reservist with 51 Coy, part of 5 MI Battalion, based in Edinburgh.  She is an Operator Military Intelligence (OPMI) soldier which means her job is to gather, analyse, and interpret information. The intelligence helps commanders to make decisions at all levels. The Corps motto is "Manui Dat Cognitio Vires"  meaning "knowledge gives strength to the arm" which fits in well with her day job as a secondary teacher. She currently teaches Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) at Lasswade High school. She spent a year working full time with the Army, and met her husband who is a Regular Int Corps soldier, while training during her summer holidays one year. He has been into the school to talk to the pupils about how RMPS skills can transfer to the workplace.  Both jobs are varied and very fulfilling. She says she loves them equally and being able to serve both her country and the community. 

More about Chris

Lifelong learning and employability worker Chris Elliott is with 612 Squadron, RAF Medical Reserves at Leuchars. Chris says a lot of the skills developed in the reserves, are directly transferable to his day to day work within the council.

27 Jun 2018