The parents of Army cadet Kaylee McIntosh who died when a seaborne training exercise went horrifically wrong, have honoured their daughter’s memory at a special ceremony at Fyvie Castle.
Derek and Lesley McIntosh presented Cadet Lance Corporal Samantha Strowger 17 with the Kaylee McIntosh Memorial Trophy for the best 2 Star Cadet in the 2 Highlanders Army Cadet Force, Kaylee’s Battalion.
Kaylee’s Mum Lesley McIntosh said: “Nothing will ever erase the pain of losing Kaylee, or change our attitude to those we hold responsible for causing her death.
“But this ceremony is about remembering all Kaylee’s wonderful qualities, and how much she loved being an army cadet.
“Some of the money her fellow cadets raised was used to fund a permanent memorial, a beautiful granite bench here in the grounds of Fyvie Castle.
“But we also wanted something to remind everyone of the positive benefits that come from being a cadet and this trophy does that.”
The specially crafted silver trophy has a “wheel nut” as a base which represents Kaylee’s love of car mechanics, a passion she shared with her father Derek, and a silver thistle with a butterfly balanced on the top.
The trophy was funded by contributions from Kaylee’s fellow cadets after she drowned, trapped under a assault craft which capsized at Loch Carnan, South Uist, two years ago.
Derek added: “Kaylee absolutely loved being in the Cadets, and she was so proud of being a 2 Star Lance Corporal.
“It’s good to know that the Battalion has found worthy winners who share Kaylee’s passion and commitment.”
Dave Chapman, the McIntosh’s family liaison officer who has recently been appointed Commandant of 2 Highlanders ACF said:
“This is a very special day for Kaylee’s family and for the Army to remember Kaylee with all her enthusiasm and commitment and to recognise the qualities of the youngsters sharing her rank.
“Samantha, from the Banff detatchment is actually the second winner of the trophy but we couldn’t hold a ceremony last year, because the silversmith was still working on the trophy.
“The 2008 winner, Laua Cruikshank 18, from Huntley is currently climbing Mount Kilimamjaro in Kenya for ‘Help for Heroes.’
“I think that speaks volumes for the sort of person that gets involved in the army cadet force.”
Jayne Crawford of Thompsons Solicitors the family’s lawyer said: “The issue of criminal proceedings over Kaylee’s death is still under consideration by the Crown Office and we await their decision on the matter.”
The guest list included: Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, Sir Angus and Lady Alison Farquharson, Brigadier David Allfrey, Commander 51st (Scottish) Brigade, Wing Commander (Retired) Martin Henderson, Deputy Chief Executive Highland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, Dave Chapman, Commandant of 2 Highlanders ACF, and Lance Corporal Strowger, Derek and Lesley McIntosh and their close family friends Frazer and Helen Geddes.