A BADLY-wounded Scots soldier has delivered the Best Man’s speech at his brother’s wedding – by videolink from a military hospital.
Guests at the wedding of David and Jen Chalmers stood to applaud as brave JJ Chalmers appeared on a video screen live from his bed in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old was seriously injured in a Taliban attack that claimed the lives of two colleagues.
But that didn’t stop JJ, from Dunfermline, Fife, appearing on screen in a shirt and bow tie and then delivering a stream of jokes at his brother’s expense.
JJ’s family had hoped he would be well enough to attend the wedding ceremony at St Mary’s cathedral on Saturday.
Instead, the wonders of modern technology made it possible for him to play his part from 300 miles away in Selly Oak military hospital.
His father, the reverend John Chalmers, Princpal Clerk of the Church of Scotland, said:
“It was a glorious day for the wedding, one of the nicest days of the summer.
“Friends of mine who are technical geniuses had web streamed the wedding into the hospital on a live link so both JJ and his girlfriend Kornelia were able to watch it in the hospital ward.
“We had cameras in the reception area and five foot screen in the reception room so JJ was able to watch us and hear all the speeches.
“The stand-in best man at the service read some greetings and toasted absent friends then introduced JJ and right on cue he appeared on screen dressed in a shirt and bowtie. “
JJ, a reserve in the Royal Marines, works as a design technology teacher at Balerno High School, Edinburgh. His brother is also a teacher and the profession bore the brunt of the jokes.
Reverend Chalmers said:
“All of our family are teachers so JJ took the four performance capacities of the Curriculum of Excellence as the theme of his speech, asking questions whether his brother had reached his performance indicators.
“The bride’s name is Jennifer Bond so he also managed to work into the speech the title of all the James Bond films. He was on top form. “
The military chaplain at Selly Oak made sure JJ and Kornelia were able to join in the celebrations, bringing in a toast and a chinese meal for the couple.
“It was an emotional moment. He got a standing ovation and it was just one aspect of a very memorable day.
“The whole occasion was memorable. What ever else the day was to be, it wasn’t about JJ it was about Jen and David. JJ did his bit as best man no more or less just as he would have done if he was actually there. “