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“Even though Remembrance is a sad day, I can still smile.”


Before Luca-Beau was born, her dad, CSgt Jamie Pallister, died by suicide. Growing up without him by her side has been incredibly difficult for Luca-Beau, and without any memories of her dad she has relied on stories other people have told her to feel connected to him.

Luca-Beau joined Scotty’s Little Soldiers at the beginning of 2014. She was four months old.

“Scotty’s means a lot to me,” says Luca-Beau, now eight. “Each year they help me get stronger when I'm feeling upset about my dad. I get to express my emotions by talking instead of crying, even though I still might cry a little bit.”


“It’s very bittersweet.”

This year, Luca-Beau, alongside her sister, Nicole, and mum, Angela, travelled to London to attend the National Service of Remembrance and BBC One’s Festival of Remembrance with Scotty’s. It was their first time attending, and Luca-Beau was one of the charity’s youngest members at the event. She was one of 55 bereaved military children and young people supported by Scotty’s who joined us for Remembrance.  

“Remembrance is important to me because we get to remember my daddy,” she says. “It shows me there are lots of people who have been through the same things I have.” 

Her mum says: “We have a military background – my dad was in the forces and then I married into the forces – so it’s always been an important time for us, but since Jamie died it carries much more weight. He’s in the back of our minds every day, but Remembrance is an opportunity for our family to spend some quality time together, thinking about the good times we had. It’s very bittersweet.” 

Luca-Beau wearing her dad's medals and beret

“I’m never going to meet him.” 

For Luca-Beau, Remembrance is a time of mixed emotions, but it’s always a chance to reflect on her father’s life. Every year, she and her mum like to remember their hero in lots of different ways. 

“My dad plays the bagpipes and every year he’s asked to play by the war memorial where we live,” says Angela. “We go there every year to put some flowers down in Jamie’s memory along with a photo of him.” 

In the past, they have also visited Jamie’s memorial plaque at 4/5 Commando, where they were based before he died, and every year the whole family attend a Remembrance parade wearing Jamie’s medals, as a way to pay their respects.  

Luca-Beau says: “Sometimes it makes me happy because we get to think about my dad and do lots of nice things to remember him, but sometimes it makes me really sad because it reminds me I’m never going to meet him. After the parade we always go somewhere to get food and have fun, though. I like doing that because it shows even though Remembrance is a sad day, I can still smile.”

Luca-Beau at her dad's memorial plaque

Remembering at school 

Luca-Beau also enjoys taking part in Remembrance ceremonies with her school. There’s a small memorial nearby which her class lays a poppy by every year, as well as a small cross she can write a message on. 

“We also make poppies out of cardboard,” say Luca-Beau, “and have a bit of quiet time where we can just remember. Remembering with everyone else makes me quite happy because I know there’s lots of people thinking about my dad. It makes feel very proud.”

Luca-Beau in front of her dad's medals

“He’s my hero, too.”

Unfortunately, not everyone realises how important Remembrance can be to bereaved children and young people like Luca-Beau, but she and her mum are trying to change that. 

“Last year, we attended a small Remembrance service near where we live,” says Angela. “There were a group of older gentlemen also attending the service, and one of them asked Luca if she had lost someone. She told him her daddy had died and I could see he was quite taken aback. I think the fact that there was a young girl there who had lost her dad surprised them, because I could see them suddenly listening in. Luca was carrying a framed picture of her dad that said, ‘my daddy, my hero’ on it, and the man pointed down to it and said, ‘you know, he’s not just your hero, he’s my hero too.’ I think moments like that really hammer home that people are still serving and dying, but also that you don’t have to be killed in action to be remembered. Jamie wasn’t killed in action, but he fought for our country for 15 years and completed four tours. He shouldn’t be forgotten.”

Luca-Beau's dad, CSgt Jamie Pallister

Laying the wreath 

This year, Luca-Beau laid Scotty’s memorial wreath at the Cenotaph on behalf of all the bereaved military children attending. Although it’s a big responsibility, she was looking forward to it and knew that Scotty’s members would be right behind her. 

“I was excited and a little bit nervous, but I was looking forward to it because I knew I would be with loads of people from Scotty’s, which made me feel more confident.”

“She felt extremely privileged to be given the opportunity,” says Luca-Beau’s mum. “I know she was a bit nervous, but it’s also something she was really happy to be doing. It meant a lot to her.” 

Like every Scotty member at the parade, Luca-Beau wore her black and yellow Scotty’s scarf. We wear black and yellow scarves during Remembrance to honour the parents of our members and show we’re all united.

Luca-Beau stood beside a memorial bench

Scotty’s Remembrance support 

In addition to attending the National Service of Remembrance and BBC One’s Festival of Remembrance this year, Luca-Beau and all Scotty’s members will also be sent Remembrance packs which include suggestions on how to remember their loved one, guidance on looking after themselves, a special Remembrance colouring-in sheet, and a voucher to spend on a meal so they can take some time out. The pack also includes information that can be given to their schools to help with challenges that may be faced during the Remembrance period.

CSgt Jamie Pallister on a night out

Scotty’s impact

Luca-Beau has also benefitted from Scotty’s services including grants, respite breaks and attending our annual Christmas party, where they’ve been able to meet other bereaved military children and young people who understand what she’s been through.  

“The Christmas party falls on Luca’s birthday every year, which she loves,” say Angela. “She gets happy birthday sung to her by hundreds of people! The respite breaks provided by Scotty’s help massively, too. It’s a nice chance to get away from everything, spend some quality time together and remember her dad.” She continues: “I was a military child myself, so I know what it’s like for the kids who have spent so much of their life travelling from place to place. It can be difficult for somewhere to feel like home. Having Scotty’s there – being able to connect with people who have gone through the same thing as you and understand what it’s like to live in that military environment – is really helpful, and the support they offer is amazing. When Jamie died people were very sympathetic, but after that first year it felt like most people stopped bothering. The gifts and messages we get from Scotty’s every year show us he’s not been forgotten.” 

Luca-Beau says: “Scotty’s makes me feel happy because it’s like a part of me. It makes me feel good knowing they understand what I've been through and that there are lots of others who have all been through similar things.”

Luca-Beau attending a local Remembrance ceremony

Supporting bereaved military children 

Scotty’s Little Soldiers is a charity dedicated to supporting children and young people (0 to 25 years) who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.    

Inspired by the experience of Army widow Nikki Scott, following the death of her husband Corporal Lee Scott in Afghanistan in 2009, the charity, which was set up in 2010, provides support and guidance to hundreds of bereaved military children and young people throughout their childhood.   

Services offered to Scotty’s members include access to child bereavement support, guidance to parents and carers, personal education and learning assistance (including grants), and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.    

If you know a child or young person who has experienced the death of a parent who served in the British Armed Forces, they could be eligible for specialist bereavement support from Scotty's Little Soldiers. Hundreds of bereaved military children aren’t getting the support they need but we are here to help.

Luca-Beau posing for the camera in her yellow Scotty's top

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