Lord-Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, Stephen Leckie, was delighted to attend Perth Academy for the investiture of David Dykes, who was made an MBE for his services to the school and Perth community, in last year’s birthday honours. Current pupils and staff welcomed Mr Dykes back to the school for his investiture ceremony. The Lord-Lieutenant was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Angus, Andy Middlemiss DL who read the citation and Pipe Major Alastair Duthie.
Mr Dykes, a former Royal Navy serviceman, taught design and technology at the school for 27 years. After his retiral in 2015, he worked with pupils at the school on a special project to commemorate the 168 former pupils and staff killed in the First World War. He then led the Flowers of the Forest group which researched the names on Perth Academy’s war memorial. Mr Leckie said: “The Flowers of the Forest group has had a big impact on Perth Academy and beyond. “It is important we never forget the sacrifices made by earlier generations and this project not only commemorates those former Perth Academy pupils who fell during World War One but has also created a valuable historical resource that has brought communities and generations together.” The five-year project, which Mr Dykes led with history teacher Laura Hobson, resulted in a resource being deposited in Perth and Kinross Archive for generations to come.
Mr Dykes also wrote a book detailing the lives of the 168 former Perth Academy pupils and staff killed in the conflict between 1914 and 1919. Among the stories highlighted was that of the one woman named on the memorial, Mabel Lee Milne, a Dundee-born nursing sister among the 1,500 Allied nurses who died. The hospital she was working at near St Omer, in France, was bombed by German aircraft on September 30 1917, in one of the most barbaric attacks of the war. Mabel was seriously injured and died the next day.