Two Inverclyde servicemen accompany Queen’s coffin

TWO members of the armed forces from Inverclyde accompanied Queen Elizabeth II's coffin on her final Scottish journey. High-ranking Port Glasgow soldier Scott Cox led the coffin bearers party, which included Greenock soldier Ryan McAllister. Scott, a former Port Glasgow High School pupil - who was decorated for his bravery saving lives in Afghanistan - was entrusted with overseeing the bearer party.

Together the local men played a crucial role as the Queen's coffin was carried into the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh after her journey from Balmoral. Under Scott's watchful eye was former Notre Dame High pupil Ryan, who along with his colleagues carried the royal coffin, draped with the Royal Standard of Scotland, into the royal residence where it lay at rest for a day. Their duties continued the next day following the procession to St Giles' Cathedral in the capital's Old Town, and then again before the hearse made its way to Edinburgh Airport to depart for London.

Family members, former teachers and members of the community sent messages of support to the pair as they diligently fulfilled their high-profile duties while millions of people watched on television and crowds of tens of thousands looked on at close quarters. Hero soldier Scott is well known locally for saving the lives of 16 US Marines while being bombarded with mortar bombs and bullets during his tour of Afghanistan. Scott was in command of an armoured patrol truck when he twice risked his own life to tow the stricken troops to safety, and under heavy fire managed to rescue them.

Then just 26, the proud serviceman was later given an award and mentioned in despatches for his bravery.

Supporters of 22-year-old Ryan, including his former sports club Inverclyde Phoenix, wished the young man well on his 'huge honour' of being part of the historic occasion.

The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday at 11am, with the day declared a Bank Holiday.