Legion Scotland Today, Autumn 18

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The official magazine of The Royal British Legion Scotland Issue 19 Autumn 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk

Wonder women How war changed the British workforce




Royal British Legion Scotland: at the heart of Scotland’s veteran community


LEGION SCOTLAND New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HQ Patron Her Majesty The Queen President Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin KCB CBE MA National Chairman Charlie Brown National Vice Chairman Martyn Hawthorn National Treasurer Jamie Bryant Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gray MM EDITOR Claire Armstrong MANAGING EDITOR Fiona McKinlay ASSISTANT EDITOR Nicola Love DESIGNER Andrew Bell SUB-EDITORS Sean Guthrie, Andrew Littlefield ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Helen Cassidy helen.cassidy@thinkpublishing.co.uk STORIES TO SHARE? Please contact magazine@legionscotland.org.uk or call 0131 550 1586. Submissions received by 14 November 2018 will be considered for inclusion in the next issue, but we appreciate your stories at any time and may be able to share them through other avenues such as social media. Articles are likely to be edited and inclusion is not guaranteed. Sending high-resolution images as email attachments will increase the chances of us being able to use your story. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Published on behalf of Legion Scotland by Think Publishing Ltd Red Tree Business Suites, 33 Dalmarnock Road, Glasgow G40 4LA 0141 375 0504

Time to remember


UR THOUGHTS will be firmly on 1918 this autumn – 100 years on from the end of the First World War, in which so many fought and It’s hard to lost their lives. imagine how the Remembrance is always a time for First World War reflection and giving thanks to those who have served their country. It’s hard to really was for imagine how the First World War really those who served was for those who served. Britain had the Royal Flying Corps, the air arm of the British Army – only becoming the RAF at the tail end of the war. Almost 10,000 of their men were killed or went missing in action. Aircraft like the Sopwith Camel were only developed during the war. The Royal Navy may have been the best in the world, but it faced relentless challenges from U-boats. The British Army lost more than 673,000 men, with soldiers on the ground on the Western Front, at Gallipoli and elsewhere. The Brodie helmet wasn’t generally issued until 1916, and the Vickers machine gun was too heavy for one man to carry by himself. Modern troops face wildly different challenges, with technological advances having transformed warfare. It’s important we remember and respect the immense bravery of those who serve and have served, whether in the First World War or modern conflicts such as the Troubles, Iraq and Afghanistan. We will be thinking of them all during our Remembrance programme. You can learn more about what we are doing throughout this issue of Legion Scotland Today, including the Thank You campaign alongside Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland. I hope to see many of you at events and services in the coming months.

ADVERTISING Alison Fraser alison.fraser@thinkpublishing.co.uk 0141 946 8708 Copyright © Legion Scotland 2018. All rights reserved. Legion Scotland is a trading name of the Royal British Legion Scotland SCIO, Scottish Charity No.SC003323

Kevin Gray MM CEO Legion Scotland

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CONTENTS The official magazine of The Royal British Legion Scotland Issue 19 Autumn 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk


BRANCH NEWS Stories from Legion Scotland branches across the country LOCAL HERO How Mike and Sheila Stark aced the Scottish Poppy Appeal

How war changed the British workforce





LEGION NEWS The latest from Legion Scotland and beyond, including Remembrance events


Wonder women



Royal British Legion Scotland: at the heart of Scotland’s veteran community

ON THE COVER From left to right: Maurice Corry MSP, Sir Alistair Irwin, Amy Hallis, Graham Walter and Moira Kane. Each one shares what Remembrance means to them, from page 16 onwards SOCIAL MEDIA facebook.com/ LegionScotland twitter.com/ LegionScotland


SAYING THANK YOU Five people with military connections explain why the Thank You campaign and Remembrance are important to them


WOMEN’S WORK 100 Looking at the roles of women on the home front during WWI


VOICES OF VETERANS Royal Army Medical Corps veteran Paul Bassett shares his story


LAST POST Tributes to recently departed members of Legion Scotland

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COME AND SEE US Branch and club directory HATS OFF TO HEROES A moment of elation at the end of World War One

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Keeping you up to date with Legion Scotland’s latest

The wellattended commemorative service held at Canongate Kirk in August



Service in Edinburgh pays tribute to WW1 stalwarts THE FIRST event led by Legion Scotland to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One took place in Edinburgh, attended by branch members from across the country and senior figures from the Armed Forces and the ex-service community.

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More than 100 people attended the service at Canongate Kirk on 11 August, which was part of the 100-day campaign, spearheaded by the Royal British Legion, to say thank you to those from WW1 who served, made sacrifices and changed the world that we live in today. Wreaths were laid by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh Frank Ross, representatives from the Scottish Government and on behalf of the Armed Forces in Scotland, Legion Scotland, the Royal British Legion and the Returned and Services League of Australia. The service included a reading of Vera Brittain’s poem Perhaps by Moira Kane of the War Widows Association of Great Britain, and a rousing rendition of Sir Harry Lauder’s Keep Right on

to the End of the Road that was led by Bruce McKenzie. After the service, attendees enjoyed light refreshments at Whitefoord House kindly provided by Legion Scotland and Scottish Veterans Residences. If you would like to get involved in the Thank You project, you can get more information by emailing us at thankyou@legionscotland.org.uk We would also love to hear about your plans for saying thank you in 2018, so please keep in touch and send us your photos or videos of members and supporters saying thank you throughout the year. These can be sent to thankyou@ legionscotland.org.uk


VETERANS HELP TO MAKE HISTORY Pilgrimage recreates 1928 visit to WW1 battlefields


MEMBERS OF Legion Scotland made history by recreating a visit to the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres after a gap of nine decades. The Great Pilgrimage 90 was attended by representatives from 23 Legion Scotland branches along with others from Royal British Legion branches in the rest of the UK and further afield. The pilgrimage recreated the visit of British Legion members and war widows to the Somme and Ypres, culminating in a march to the Menin Gate, on 8 August 1928, 10 years after the end of World War One. Ninety years later to the day, more than 1,000 standards were carried on a parade to the Menin Gate for the One Hundred Days ceremony, which commemorated the last 100 days of the conflict. The furthest distance travelled by Legion Scotland representatives was the 853-mile journey that Stromness

Standard bearers at the One Hundred Days ceremony

branch members undertook to reach Belgium, with the oldest participating member being Jackie Crawford, 86, of Castle Douglas branch. Legion Scotland CEO Kevin Gray MM also attended with Sir Alistair Irwin, president of Legion Scotland, national chairman Charlie Brown, Georgie Macris, the CEO of the Returned and Services League of Australia, and their president Robert Dick. Kevin Gray said: “I am delighted that so many branch representatives from the Royal British Legion Scotland were able to take their place amongst the 1,194 branch standards from the Royal British Legion in the Great Pilgrimage. The parade was a wonderful display of unity combined with comradeship and Remembrance, and it was a great privilege to witness first hand the determination and commitment of Legionnaires north and south of the border.”


FOOTBALL CLUB MAINTAINS STRONG SUPPORT FOR VETERANS Falkirk makes pledges for Armistice centenary FALKIRK FC’S ongoing support of Legion Scotland has continued in 2018, with the club taking part in 11 pledges to support and commemorate activities connected to the centenary of the Armistice. Among these pledges are the donation of a No.11 football shirt, afternoon tea for 11 members of the War Widows Association at Falkirk Stadium, and free match tickets for ex-service men and women. Legion Scotland Sweetheart Amy Hawthorn has also performed a concert for Bairns supporters with impaired sight and friends from Scottish War Blinded. Falkirk FC and Legion Scotland have enjoyed a positive and proactive relationship for a number of years, focusing on supporting the Armed Forces and veterans’ community in the Falkirk area. The relationship is maintained and developed by Kieran Koszary, executive director of Falkirk FC, Legion Scotland CEO Kevin Gray MM, and head of events and liaison Stephen Elliot. Has your branch forged any interesting partnerships in the local community? Let us know at magazine@legionscotland.org.uk

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MEMBERSHIP MATTERS By keeping up your membership of Legion Scotland you help the charity to offer help and support to Scottish veterans

NEW MEMBERSHIP FORMAT FOR 2018/2019 Everyone has been working hard to ensure that their membership lists are up to date, and that your details are correct at the time of going to print, so it won’t be long now until your branch receives the new plastic membership cards. If you are a renewing member in 2018/2019, once you make your payment to the branch they will have your personalised membership card and renewal letter ready to hand out. If there have been any issues with your details prior to the new membership year, you will be asked to complete a new membership duplicate form to ensure that everything is correct and current for you.

KEEPING YOUR DETAILS UP TO DATE If any of the information on your card is incorrect, you need to let Head Office and your branch know as quickly as possible. This card – with your unique ID number – will last for the lifetime of your membership, so we need to make sure it is accurate. All membership letters will have a tear-off slip that you should complete, updating us on your communication preferences and any changes to your information. If you pay by direct debit it will continue as before and your personalised letter and card will be issued to you directly from Head Office once your payment is uplifted. We can’t wait to share the new cards with everyone and hope that you will agree that this is a big improvement to the overall process. If you have any other queries on your membership for the new year, please contact us on 0131 550 1586

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DIARY DATES Keep your eye on the website for more announcements. Check local press for Remembrance events near you MONDAY 29 OCTOBER

EDINBURGH Join members of the Armed Forces and veterans’ community, Sir Alistair Irwin, president of Legion Scotland, and Frank Ross, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, at the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens at 11am for the service of Remembrance. Reverend Dr Karen Campbell, the National Chaplain of Legion Scotland, will lead the traditional ceremony. TUESDAY 30 OCTOBER

GLASGOW A service of Remembrance will be held in George Square at 11am. Sir Alistair Irwin, president of Legion Scotland, will be joined by Eva Bolander, Lord Provost of Glasgow, for the service led by Reverend Dr Karen Campbell. SATURDAY 3 NOVEMBER

DUNDEE The annual Dundee Festival of Remembrance will be held in the Caird Hall. The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland head the musical programme. Legion Scotland Sweetheart Amy Hawthorn also performs. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets are £10,

available from Dundee City box office. Call 01382 434940 or visit www.dundeebox.co.uk. The event is supported by Dundee City Council. FRIDAY 9 NOVEMBER

EDINBURGH The Concert of Remembrance will say thank you through music and song to all those who served during World War One. Narrated by Rose McBain, the event will feature Isla St Clair, the band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and many more. A joint venture between Legion Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council, the concert takes place at 7.30pm in the Assembly Rooms. SUNDAY 11 NOVEMBER

EDINBURGH (NATIONAL EVENT ) The service at the Stone of Remembrance will be attended by leading figures in Scottish public life, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Frank Ross, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, as well as senior representatives from the UK and Scottish governments, the military, service charities and faith groups. Regarded as the national service of Remembrance, the event will feature the laying of more than 100 wreaths and begins at 11am.

EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO WINNER REVEALED THE WINNER of Legion Scotland’s competition offering two tickets for this year’s Edinburgh Military Tattoo is Violet Roberts from Dunfermline, Fife. In 2016, Violet became one of our biggest individual fundraisers by having the Legion Scotland logo tattooed on her arm.



ARMISTICE GARDENERS Peace border planted at Drum Castle

AN INSTALLATION border to commemorate the centenary of the World War One Armistice has been planted at Drum Castle. Earlier this summer, members of the Banchory branch and the local veterans’ breakfast club

came together at the Royal Deeside castle to start planting. The border concept, originally the idea of Drum Castle’s head gardener Laurie Daguin, is now being replicated across the Aberdeenshire region.

The peace borders, coloured white to represent Armistice, have also been planted at National Trust Scotland properties in Aberdeenshire to mark both the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War

One, and a century of the Royal Air Force. There are also borders at Leith Hall, Pitmedden Garden and Crathes Castle, and they can be seen from summer to autumn.


Youngsters get creative in gardening contest

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SCHOOLCHILDREN IN Banchory competed to design flowerbeds for a war memorial in the town. Pupils from three schools created designs for the Gordon Highlander War Memorial. Each of the participating schools was awarded £100 and the winning pupils received a book token. The winning flowerbeds will be planted next spring to commemorate the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles. The idea for the competition came from Chris Collins, vice chairman of Legion Scotland’s Banchory branch. Chris said: “We had more than 50 entries from the three schools and the standard was very high.”




BIKERS’ MEMORIAL MISSION Belgium journey for picture project DISTRICT FOUR Riders travelled all the way to Belgium to complete an ambitious photo project. Members set themselves the challenge of photographing 100 war memorials in 2018. They visited 89 war memorials in Fife, before more than a dozen riders went on to visit the remaining 11 memorials in Belgium this summer. Branch members David Sallnow and Joe Braid came up with the idea to commemorate the centenary of World War One. The only rule of the project was that each photo, which formed a massive collage, had to show the

person or motorcycle in the shot. Over five months, branch riders covered hundreds of miles, from Tayport to North Queensferry and Kincardine to St Andrews, before 13 members set off to Belgium in June. Riders visited Tyne Cot, the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, Hill 60, Hill 62, Caterpillar Crater and the Scottish memorial in Frezenberg – the only memorial on the former Western Front dedicated to all Scots. The project culminated at Menin Gate when all 13 riders formed up outside for the final, 100th photo.





THE NORTH Ayrshire Armed Forces Day Parade took place in Irvine in July. Members of The Isle of Cumbrae Pipe Band, SAS branch, Legion Scotland’s Irvine branch, the Ayrshire Veterans’ Breakfast Club, serving personnel from different military units and North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson all took part.

ARBROATH MEMBER Derek Scott has been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to his branch. Formerly a chartered accountant for the Royal Army Pay Corps, Derek was hailed for his “selfless commitment”.


HIGHLAND HONOURS TWO MEMBERS of the Fort William and District branch have been awarded the Highlands and Islands Area Certificate for Meritorious Service. Mark McCann and Danny Munro were honoured for their outstanding loyalty to Legion Scotland.


GREAT GALA THE MONTROSE branch recently held its annual gala day, commemorating the centenary year of the end of WWI and the Thank You campaign – remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The gala was the biggest in recent years, with a whole host of attractions for all the family. The event raised £2,000 on the day.


CARING COMMUNITY CARNOUSTIE BRANCH members recently completed a course on how to use a defibrillator. The club’s defibrillator is compatible with other machines in the area, so members and staff are now trained to use other local life-saving equipment. MONTROSE

A GREAT RUN ASHORE HMS MONTROSE paid a visit to the Montrose branch before setting sail for Portsmouth. Volunteers welcomed the ship’s company at the branch’s community café.

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NEED FOR SPEED A MEMBER of the Riders branch delighted a veteran at the Aberdeenshire Fly the Flag Day by giving him a ride on his quad bike. A former member of the Parachute Regiment, the 95-yearold exclaimed the ride was just “like jumping out of a plane” – which he did at the battle for Arnhem in 1944.


GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN Sixteenth war grave ceremony held in Nairn

NAIRN BRANCH continued its WWI 100th anniversary Remembrance campaign when they gathered at the graveside of Sister Isabel Marion Mackintosh, the first named person on the Nairn War Memorial and recipient of the Royal Red Cross

Medal in 1918. In 2013, the Nairn branch decided to mark the centenary of WWI by researching local war graves and holding commemorative ceremonies for each of the fallen. They identified 15 war graves in Nairn and five in the nearby village of Auldearn.


WREATH LAID TO MARK MAJOR EVENT MEMBERS OF the Carnoustie branch took part in a wreathlaying ceremony to mark the opening of this year’s Open championship. The ceremony took place at a memorial for local residents Lance Corporal Jarvis and Seaman Samson, both of whom

were awarded the Victoria Cross for their heroism in World War One. The memorial is in a prominent position close to the newly constructed £4.7m Carnoustie Golf Centre.


MEMBERSHIP BOOST CASTLE DOUGLAS has won the 2018 Riddell-Webster trophy. The award – named after WW2 senior general Sir Thomas Sheridan Riddell-Webster – is handed out to the branch whose membership has increased the most over the past year. BATHGATE


Paying tribute to fallen comrades

THE WEST Lothian-based Coyotes Scooter Club has presented RBLS’ Bathgate branch with a defibrillator. The club, which meets at the branch twice a month, raised funds for the life-saving equipment as part of a charity initiative. Club chairman Gus Martin said: “We have a number of members who are ex-military, so it felt particularly important to support Legion Scotland and its local membership.”


WHITEWATER COMRADES FORT WILLIAM and District branch took to the water for its latest comradeship event, as members ditched their usual 10-pin bowling competition in favour of whitewater rafting. Thirty-two branch members and their families, ranging in ages from 10 to 77, travelled to Great Glen Water Park to take part.


GARDEN PARTY MEMBERS FROM HQ, Forres and Saltcoats, Ardrossan & Stevenston branches were among those invited to this year’s Royal Garden Party. Suzanne Fernando from HQ branch said: “It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we all thoroughly enjoyed our day at the palace.”

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Your veterans need you! Legion Scotland is on the lookout for volunteers to help tackle isolation and loneliness amongst the Armed Forces community. This recruitment drive is for our Veterans Community Support Service. We’re asking people to spare a few hours in order to improve support for veterans and their families in the community. The ethos of military life, and the importance of comradeship that is achieved through bonds of friendship forged during service,

can never be underestimated. That’s why we don’t like to see any veteran suffering from isolation and loneliness, or struggling to settle into a community. For more information on volunteering with the service, please email support@ legionscotland.org.uk, or call the support team on 0131 550 1560

Royal British Legion Scotland: at the heart of Scotland’s veteran community

Looking at the excellent work carried out by our branches and members


Send your inspirational stories to magazine@legionscotland.org.uk


Fundraising couple smash £100k target in time for the First World War centenary – and they’re not finished yet


HUSBAND AND wife have been honoured after helping to raise more than £100,000 for Poppyscotland. Mike and Sheila Stark have lived in and around the Peebles area for 40 years, and have been collecting for the forces charity over the past 15 years. Mike set a goal to reach £100,000 before 2018, the year that marked a century since the signing of the Armistice which led to the end of the First World War. At the end of 2017, the incredible £100,000 target was reached. Mike said: “I just took it in my stride, actually. We knew beforehand that we were going to do it in 2017 – we just needed to get about another £3,000. I thought it was quite an achievement for Peebles.” The 82-year-old, who is originally from Somerset, did his national service with the Wiltshire Regiment. He became the Poppyscotland area organiser for Peeblesshire back in 2002. Sheila, 80, who has been married to Mike for 59 years, said: “It felt wonderful to raise £100,000. It’s something we never thought we would really achieve. I’ve done it mainly for my grandmother, who lost her son on the last day of the First World War to malaria. I went to the local war memorial down in Devon for years, until we moved away. It’s also been for Mike’s grandfather, who was killed in France in 1915.” For the past five years Sheila has organised an annual coffee morning to raise money for the 15 wreaths which

We knew beforehand that we were going to do it in 2017. I thought it was quite an achievement for Peebles

Mike and Sheila Stark with their wonderful fundraising figure

are laid in each of the local parishes. As for this year, the pair aren’t setting themselves any hard targets. “We get what we can,” Mike explains. “I’m not going out telling people we want money – if they’re going to give to us, they give to us.”

For a couple of years now, their collections have included spending time in Tesco and Sainsbury’s, “talking to people with the can beside us”. Mike says it has made a big difference at a time when there are so many other charities around. AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 15

SAYING THANK Y U Five people with different military connections discuss the significance of Legion Scotland’s Thank You campaign and why Remembrance is important to them



HE COMMEMORATION of the end of World War One in 2018 has been one of the most significant moments in the history of Legion Scotland. During the last 100 days of the centenary – from 8 August to 11 November – Legion Scotland has been encouraging members and the public to thank not just those who served in the war but also those who returned to rebuild the country for future generations. Here, five people – from president Sir Alistair Irwin to sea cadet Amy Hallis – reflect on the endeavours of previous generations of military men and women, and reveal how they’ll be paying tribute to them.

Our five interviewees share a common passion for paying tribute to past members of the Armed Forces

SIR ALISTAIR IRWIN President of Legion Scotland

THE INDIVIDUALS who stepped forward during World War One to do their duty in the name of, and on behalf of, their fellow citizens all deserve a huge thank you in this final year of the centenary activities, and Legion Scotland’s Thank You campaign has been a fitting way to place the spotlight on their achievements. My grandfather served in the Royal Navy and was at Jutland on HMS Agincourt, while my other grandfather, Ronnie Cumming, enlisted into the Grenadier Guards in the last few months of the war. My great-uncle, Lt Lewis Cumming, was killed serving with the Black Watch at the battle of the Aisne in September


1914 and my other great-uncle, Lt Kynoch Cumming, was badly wounded with the Cameron Highlanders in Ypres in November 1914 and spent the rest of the war a prisoner. When I compare modern-day service to what my family members faced, I struggle to comprehend the horrors they would have endured. Service men and women are infinitely better equipped and military life is carried out at a much faster pace, but the essence of being a soldier hasn’t changed a bit. Throughout all the Remembrance events I’ll be part of this year, I’ll spare an extra few moments of contemplation for my own family members who fell in WW1 and WW2 and especially those 862 British and imperial soldiers who were killed, or died of their wounds or disease, on the last day of WW1.


I JOINED the Territorial Army in 1971 before becoming second-in-command of the 3rd Battalion Black Watch and going on five tours of Bosnia and Croatia between 1995 and 1999. My 38 years in the military had a huge impact on my political career and in 2016 I became the regional MSP for the West of Scotland and chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Armed Forces and Veterans Community. Throughout my political career I’ve encountered a lot of veterans who need our help. In fact, it’s often those individuals who have achieved a lot in their military careers who tend


to be more reticent when it comes to asking for help. Having been a member of the Helensburgh branch for seven years, I fully understand how integral Legion Scotland is in aiding ex-service men and women and promoting Remembrance. The Thank You campaign is a poignant and fitting way for Legion Scotland and its members to pay their respects to our military predecessors.

The campaign is a fitting way to pay our respects


Veterans pay Remembrance visit to Scotland As part of Legion Scotland’s programme for the centenary of the end of World War One, members of the Wick, Canisbay and Latheron branch travelled to Australia in April

and welcomed members of the Returned and Services League of Australia in August. The guests visited Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, attended the thank you service

at Canongate Kirk and much more. They brought with them uniformed bears that are part of a campaign aimed at engaging Australian schoolchildren in the centenary of WWI. AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 19


Edinburgh and Lothians Area Parade Marshal, Legion Scotland I SERVED 12 years in the RAF as an electrical fitter and joined the Penicuik Legion Scotland branch in 1976 before becoming the branch secretary in West Linton. I then joined the Edinburgh HQ branch and went on to become the Edinburgh and Lothians area parade marshal. Legion Scotland’s Thank You campaign has meant a lot to me. My grandfather served with the Gordon Highlanders and survived World War One. Life was hard in the trenches and he only ever talked to me once about it after I came home on leave when I was in the RAF. He told me the worst thing was the smell of death – it was something he could never forget. I served during the Cold War and, apart from two tours in Aden, where I saw some action, I was lucky enough never to experience anything like what WW1 servicemen endured. This year I took part in the Great Pilgrimage 90, where I visited the battlefields and the final resting place


All I wanted was to shake his hand and say thank you

of thousands of men and woman who never returned from the war. As I marched through the streets of “Wipers” to the Menin Gate, I felt like I was walking in my grandfather’s footsteps. All I wanted was to shake his hand and say thank you for everything he did for his country. That wasn’t possible but I’ve been able to do the next best thing through Legion Scotland’s Thank You campaign. From the soldiers in the trenches to the doctors and nurses in the dressing


Sea Cadet, Queensferry TS Lochinvar MY GRANDPARENTS are ex-military, my dad and my uncle both served in the Navy, my brother and cousin are in the Royal Military Police and Navy respectively, and my mum is an officer in the cadets. It just felt like a natural progression for me to join the cadets. Through being a cadet I’ve loved meeting and hearing the stories of such a diverse group of people as well as working alongside charities like Legion Scotland to promote Remembrance to the wider public. Linking with the centenary commemoration of the First World War, I think a lot of people – myself


stations, the men and women who left Britain to fight in the war were ordinary people who achieved extraordinary things. I’ll be keeping them in my thoughts in all the Remembrance activities I’m involved in. In the words of my grandfather-inlaw, who served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery: “We should never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice, because if we do we are doomed to repeat the carnage so many young men and women suffered in WW1.”

included – find it difficult to truly comprehend the scale of the conflict and the impact it had on the lives of service men and women, their families and society at large. Those who served in WW1 sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms of today. Not only is it vital that we learn lessons from history and honour their memories through Remembrance activities, as a military community we also need to educate the public and younger generations about the importance of keeping their legacies alive. I hope to get involved in as many Remembrance events with Legion Scotland as I can. It’s a great privilege to honour those service men and women who have gone before us. AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 21

WHAT BRANCHES ARE DOING A glimpse into some of the events and tributes across Scotland


Secretary, War Widows Association THE WAR Widows Association looks after the widows of service men of all ranks. My husband served in the Army and died in Zimbabwe 10 years ago. It sounds silly, but you never think losing a loved one will happen to you. But you have to move on in life and do everything you can to support your family. My grandfather was in the Gordon Highlanders and was taken prisoner in Belgium during World War One. Initially, my great-grandparents got a telegram saying he had been killed but he returned home three years later. He was ill for the rest of his life and never spoke about his experiences, but when my husband was serving in Brussels we helped my father find where the prisoner of war camp stood. It was an emotional but incredible opportunity to connect with my family history and give voice to his story. I think Legion Scotland’s Thank You campaign is vital because it reminds us that Remembrance isn’t just for November, it’s something we should be practising every day. We need to connect to the achievements of those who served in WW1 and other conflicts so that their memories live on.


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FORT WILLIAM & DISTRICT Perspex silhouettes of World War One soldiers will feature in a dawn-to-dusk vigil and two Remembrance Day services. MONTROSE A special Thank You cake was made for the branch’s gala day in June, where more than £2,000 was raised.

THURSO Banners with the message “Thurso says thank you, 1918-2018” will be displayed on the street leading to the war memorial.

SALTCOATS, ARDROSSAN & STEVENSTON The branch is asking members of the local community to write letters of thanks that will be held in a heritage centre for future generations to see.

WICK, CANISBAY & LATHERON At the annual Mey Games, branch members asked supporters and volunteers to pose for pictures with Thank You photo boards.




Centenary collection uncovers stories of Scottish women who joined the workforce in diverse roles during WW1 HE IMPACT of women during the war is a story yet to be fully told. Celebrating the centenary of women’s suffrage, the Imperial War Museum unveiled WomensWork100 - a programme of events, exhibitions and activities that explores the working lives of women during the First World War.

Catherine Jeffrey was among the many nurses posted to the Western Front




Women who cared for the wounded in France

ELSPETH PITCAIRN GRAHAM Glasgow-born Elspeth Pitcairn Graham was just 22 years old at the outbreak of the First World War. She joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1917 and was posted to France. Mentioned for outstanding service by the War Office in 1918, she was based in St Omer and served in the 58th General Hospital the night four other nurses were killed. Elspeth recalls a night of bombing, sheltering in a nearby cave: “The sad history of the casualties is told us by our own Colonel. One sister was killed outright while singing a hymn to one of her men, another sister mortally wounded, little Coles killed while reassuring a

patient and, last but not least, Nurse Thomson. Such is the news the Colonel gives us and we hear it in awed silence, but when he tells us of the casualties among the patients, our heads go down in our hands in bitter grief.”


One sister killed while singing a hymn to one of her men, another sister mortally wounded 24 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018

Catherine Jeffrey, known as Kate, trained as a nurse before the First World War. She enrolled for the Territorial Force nursing service in August 1914 and was initially posted to Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, which

had been converted to a home war hospital. In 1916 she was posted to a British base hospital at Le Tréport in Normandy. An extract from Kate’s diary from her time in France reads: “10 July. Since the beginning of the month have been extremely busy, the big advance having started about then. Some terrible cases. Amputation of shoulder with gas gangrene and wounds into mouth – man with both arms fractured, compound, wound in abdomen and back and leg.” eastdunbartonshireswar.co.uk



The role of women in munitions factories was vital for victory in the First World War One of the largest munitions factories in the world, HM Factory Gretna was built to address the lack of ammunition available to British soldiers. It opened in April 1916 and almost 12,000 women were employed alongside chemists, explosives experts and engineers to organise and manage production of RDB cordite propellant. Women were involved in various steps of the process, from mixing the highly

Women’s factory work helped the suffrage movement, turning the tide of public opinion



The lives of working women changed drastically during the First World War

Workers mix the ‘devil’s porridge’

volatile ‘devil’s porridge’ paste through to producing the finished munitions. While women gained independence at the factory, interaction with chemicals and a lack of health and safety caused many problems. The largest and one of the first women’s police forces was also stationed at HM Factory Gretna.

Workers would be searched before entering the factory to ensure they didn’t bring in anything metallic, such as buttons or hairpins, which could produce deadly sparks. Women’s factory work also helped the suffrage movement, turning the tide of public opinion that eventually led to women winning the vote.


BOILER SHOP WORKERS A group of female workers from Alexander Stephen and Sons’ Linthouse boiler shop kept the Glasgow shipyard going during the First World War when many

men were serving in the armed forces.


MILL WORKERS By 1911 women made up threequarters of the workforce in mills. They were paid less than men, which made them desirable workers for Dundee’s jute industry. verdantworks.com


Low pay was the norm among female mill workers

Herring lasses moved up and down the east coast of Scotland with the fishing fleet to gut and prepare herring coming in off the boats. Girls as young as 14 learned to work in harsh conditions and women in this field possessed a tough work ethic. scotfishmuseum.org

AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 25

MEDICAL MARVEL Paul Bassett, formerly of the Royal Army Medical Corps, shares his story


HEN PAUL Bassett first tried to join the ambulance service in Lancashire he was turned away, as he was only 17 and the age requirement was 21. Thirty years on he is Director of National Operations at the Scottish Ambulance Service and was recently awarded the Queen’s Ambulance Medal, but he still remembers that disappointment. “I was always interested in the ambulance service for as far back as I can remember,” says Paul, who now lives in Livingston with his wife Jo. “I’d been with St John’s Ambulance in Blackburn and did voluntary work at the local hospital, so the ambulance service seemed like the ideal career. I had an informal chat with an ambulance officer who suggested I looked at the forces in the interim, as that would give me such good experience


that I’d be snapped up by the ambulance service as soon as I was old enough.” His parents had opposite reactions to the idea of him serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps. “My dad was so dead set against it that he wouldn’t sign the papers,” says Paul. “My mum said that if it was absolutely what I wanted to do she would sign, though my dad said he didn’t expect me to stay long. I actually stayed for nine years, rather than the three I’d signed up for.” Eight weeks’ basic military training was followed by eight weeks training as a combat medical technician, an experience which convinced Paul that he’d made the right decision. “Absolutely – I had no doubts at all. Everything seemed familiar and right.” This was further confirmed by his first detachment, six weeks in Kenya with

IN PICTURES 21st BIRTHDAY Paul on his 21st birthday in Tabuk, February 1991

DEPLOYMENT IN TABUK With colleagues from Medical Support Troop Bravo in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia, ahead of ‘Gulf 1’, October 1990 26 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018

the Devon & Dorset Regiment. “I was only 18 and the only medical support for the company, but at that age you have confidence, especially if you feel you’re doing a job you’re both trained for and capable of,” says Paul. “It had some very specific challenges, as it was so remote and we were doing ‘jungle’ training in a rainforest and tabbing in intense heat. When we climbed Mount Kenya I was teased about being a medic and not making it to the top, but I was amongst

Northern Ireland made me grow up quickly and also made me very aware of mental health issues

the small group who did make it. It was a shock for young, fit soldiers to realise that heat and altitude sickness could stop them from getting past the first or second stages, but they took it in their stride when I teased them right back.” That camaraderie and those strong friendships continued in his next detachment, to Northern Ireland, where he spent six months in a range of roles as well as a medic. “I did top cover, which literally means your head is out the top watching for danger, and was also part of the protection team patrolling with the RUC officers. We were always a target and took a few casualties, though luckily didn’t lose anyone. Kenya was a challenge, but Northern Ireland made me grow up quickly and also made me very aware of mental health issues.” Paul discovered that the younger soldiers in particular saw the medical centre as a safe place, where they could come to chat when they felt worried or nervous. “Concern for mental health issues was in its infancy then,” he says. “You either used a buddy system with mentoring from your peers, or you were referred to a psychiatrist – there was no middle road. I think it was at that point I realised that there was much more I could learn and also give back.”

Northern Ireland was followed by service in Cyprus and the Gulf, with experience of hospital ships and battlefield situations giving him a wide range of skills. During the deployment to the Gulf, his first child Leigh was born, just four weeks before Paul turned 21. Two months of photographs sustained him before he finally got to meet his daughter, then aged three months old, and he went on to have four more children. “Having a family made me take stock and ultimately that’s why I left the forces in 1996 and started my training in Newmarket to become an ambulance technician. It was interesting – my primary and trauma care were fine, but I needed to brush up on areas you don’t tend to experience in the forces, like falls, fits and breathing problems. “I came to Scotland six years ago and was nominated for the award in 2016. I was totally amazed, but so proud and humble because this is a team effort. I’m now very active within the Livingston branch and supportive of all the work that Legion Scotland does, and I feel that both my careers have come together now. It’s really important to me, being exforces, for the ambulance service to have its place alongside Legion Scotland in remembering those who gave so

much both in the Armed Forces and in civilian life. I have made many new friends through Legion Scotland and it’s great to be back in that community.”

SHARE YOUR STORY Voices of Veterans is a Legion Scotland campaign that pays tribute to veterans of all ages by sharing their stories. If you have a tale to tell, whether you left service yesterday or 50 years ago, or know someone with a story and would like to nominate them, let us know. Please call 0131 550 1586 or email magazine@legionscotland.org.uk

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE Posing for a media photo ahead of receiving the Queen’s Ambulance Medal for Distinguished Service January 2016

MEETING THE QUEEN Paul’s investiture at the Palace of Holyrood House, 5 July 2016, by HM the Queen AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 27


100 DAYS Poppyscotland head of fundraising Gordon Michie shares how the charity and ex-service communities are marking the centenary of the closing phase of WWI


AS I SIT at my desk writing this today on 8 August, I cannot help but wonder at the sacrifices our forebears made 100 years ago. Did they think that, as the Battle of Amiens started, it was the beginning of the end of the Great War – the war to end all wars?

As we know, this did not happen and, in the intervening years, the work of Poppyscotland has never lessened, and our need to support the Armed Forces community remains as great as ever. The success to date of our Poppy Pledge campaign has been truly wonderful to witness and the very

different types of challenges that people are undertaking to commemorate this period of anniversary is great testament to the spirit that I believe drove those who served 100 years ago. In partnership with Legion Scotland and the Royal British Legion, we are delivering the Scottish element of the nationwide Thank You campaign that is designed to remember not just those who served on the front line, but those who stayed behind and ensured that the country kept going. This busy period will see many activities that we will be involved in and that I hope you as Legion members will want to support; from attendance at one of the forthcoming concerts by the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, or our partnership with WW100 and Legion Scotland, to the heart-pulling Far Far from Ypres production with Barbara Dickson and Ian McCalman. It is not too late, however, to take on your own Poppy Pledge – something I myself have signed up for. From today, I am giving up Irn-Bru for the rest of the 100 Day Push that ended the war. “Not a difficult challenge!” I hear you say, but after consuming on average three litres of Bru per day for the past three decades, it will be easier said than done! In finishing this update, can I wish you all the very best in your own personal endeavours to commemorate this 100thyear anniversary, whatever they may be – from peaceful reflection of forebears, to a physical challenge, may you all have the very best of luck.

It is not too late to take on your own poppy pledge 28 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018


SUMMER ACTIVITY IN INVERNESS It has been a busy summer for North of Scotland Peer Support, explains welfare services coordinator Lorna McConnell SO FAR IT HAS BEEN a busy year for the Poppyscotland team and veterans in the North of Scotland. The Veterans Drop-In Group meets every week at our Inverness Welfare Centre. In April, the group celebrated RAF 100 at the weekly drop-in session. We also welcomed our previous fundraiser, Flt Lt Daniel Streames, who is now part of Fulmar Flight at RAF Lossiemouth. We spent the afternoon flying the ensign, pulling up some sandbags and sharing some good old banter. A great time was had by all. In May, they enjoyed afternoon tea on the Strathspey Steam Railway, with a group of 10 veterans taking in the beautiful views along the 10-mile journey from Aviemore, through Boat of Garten, to Broomhill. On 20 June, the centre celebrated its fifth anniversary, which proved to be the perfect moment for a renaming that recognises the centre’s partnership with The MacRobert Trust. This was very much an informal celebration, with beneficiaries and volunteers making up most of the 30 guests in attendance.

Our own Mark Bibbey welcomed everybody, followed by some fervent words from Rear Admiral Chris Hockley, CEO of The MacRobert Trust. There was a great buzz to the event, heightened further by an update from the regional fundraiser that the centre’s Poppy Ness Veterans have already exceeded their #1918PoppyPledge target after only two events, with further events still to come. Next on the summer agenda was a visit to Rothiemurchus in Aviemore, situated at the heart of the Cairngorms National Park. Veterans enjoyed archery, claypigeon shooting, quad biking and fly fishing. All these activities were a success thanks to the veterans who attended, the staff team and, without doubt, the valuable volunteers who support everything that Poppyscotland does. Thank you all. If you would like to find out more about the Veterans Drop-In Group (or anything else at the Inverness Welfare Centre) please pop in to our office on Strothers Lane, or call us on 01463 710300

Partnership helps more than 3,000 veterans in first year Happy 1st birthday to the Unforgotten Forces partnership! More than 3,000 older veterans have so far been helped in areas such as advice, access to healthcare, social isolation, respite and transport, along with creative activities and events for those in care settings. If you or someone you know is aged 65 or over and might benefit you can find out more on our website: www.poppyscotland.org. uk, or call us on 0131 550 1557

ADVICE IN AYRSHIRE New ASAP area established The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) is delighted to welcome two new advisers based in Ayrshire. They joined Poppyscotland’s Ayrshire Welfare Centre Team at Armed Forces Day recently. This brings the number of areas covered by ASAP to 11, with the national helpline supporting the rest of Scotland. ASAP’s trained advisers offer wide-ranging support to the Armed Forces community. Call the helpline on 0808 800 1007 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, or find your local adviser on our website: www.poppyscotland.org.uk

AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 29


THE WAR POETS In Andrew Ferguson’s book, Ghosts of War, he tells the story of the First World War through poetry and prose, drawing on the remarkable and poignant words of Vera Brittain, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and more comfortable billets well behind the lines. When reading the poems it should always be remembered that poets such as Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were just that – poets. Wilfred Owen wrote shortly before his death, tragically on 4 November 1918, just one week before the Armistice, ‘My subject is war, and the pity of war,’ words which would later be inscribed on the monument to the war poets in Westminster Abbey. They did not report on the war nor, indeed, examine its justification – they did, however, portray its pity. But it was not like this at first. The early poems showed an optimistic patriotism only later replaced by cynicism and despair. This mood was a reflection of that in the country. The chance to enlist was seen as an opportunity for excitement and

adventure for many young men, who otherwise faced the prospect of a life of hard work and low pay. The truth would be somewhat different.

We have three copies of Ghosts of War to give away. For a chance to win a copy, simply send your name and address to c.armstrong@legionscotland.org.uk or on a postcard to GHOSTS OF WAR COMPETITION, Legion Scotland, New Haig House, Logie Green Road, Edinburgh EH7 4HQ. See www.legionscotland.org.uk/news-events for terms and conditions. Ghosts of War is published by the History Press (£9.99) 30 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018



THE FIRST World War is uniquely defined by the number of poets who recorded their thoughts and experiences, providing a moving record of the horrors experienced by the troops in the mud-filled, rat-infested trenches. No war before or since has been so extensively chronicled nor its misery so exposed. There was, of course, no nightly television report to chart the suffering or indeed to record the courage of those who fought, although some poignant cinematic films were taken and, suitably edited, shown in cinemas at home. The picture portrayed by the war poets is of the folly of war and of the braveness of soldiers asked again and again to ‘go over the top’ on the orders of unimaginative staff officers who were safely situated in their


LAST POST Tributes to recently departed Legion Scotland members from across the country KEITH

ROBERT (BOB) RETTIE Bob, who was a member of Keith branch, died on 1 September 2017. He served in the Royal Navy for 10 years, from 1956 to 1966, and leaves behind Kath, his wife of 53 years, two sons and a daughter. After departing from the Navy, Bob worked in the whisky industry until his retirement. TAIN

HAMISH A COWIE Hamish passed away on 18 November 2017, aged 95, after a long illness. He was a WWII Royal Air Force veteran who joined the Scottish Police after the war and served in Dingwall, Tain and Fearn. A member of the Legion for many years, he kept his membership

up after moving to America. He leaves behind his wife Margaret, a member of the Helmsdale branch, and his three children. Hamish is dearly missed by his family and all who knew him. TAYPORT

TERRY MCAFEE President of the Tayport branch, Terry McAfee passed away on 16 June 2018. Having served for 30 years with the Royal Air Force, Terry then joined the branch. For the last 10 years he was one of our stalwarts, rarely missing a meeting and taking part in all of our events and parades with pride. He was a true gentleman who will be greatly missed by all in the community. Thoughts and condolences go to his family.

Legion Scotland key contacts Main Switchboard 0131 550 1586 Membership and Branch Support Alastair Duff / Claire Armstrong 0131 550 1586 info@legionscotland.org.uk Disablement Pensions Service James Johnston 0131 550 1566 j.johnston @legionscotland.org.uk

Submitting a Last Post

Veterans Community Support Tommy Douglas 0131 550 1560 t.douglas @legionscotland.org.uk

Please submit dedications to recently departed Legion Scotland members to magazine@legionscotland.org.uk. We will endeavour to include these in the next issue, based on the following deadline: 14 November 2018 (winter). Submissions will be edited so as to give as fitting a tribute to each and every one as we can. We recommend a word count of around 100 words. If you are able to attach a photo, we will make every effort to include this as well.

Events and Remembrance Stephen Elliot 0131 550 1562 s.elliot @legionscotland.org.uk Legion Scotland Today Magazine 0131 550 1586 magazine @legionscotland.org.uk Accounts Lorna Kane 0131 550 1548 l.kane@legionscotland.org.uk

Royal British Legion Scotland: at the heart of Scotland’s veteran community

SUMMER 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 31


ABERDEEN, BANFF & KINCARDINE 01224 707768 Aberdeen Aboyne Alford Ballater & District Banchory 01330 822347 Buckie & District 01542 832636 Bucksburn Dufftown 01340 820711 Ellon & District 01358 720512 Fraserburgh 01346 518964 Fyvie 01651 891292 Inverurie 01467 620567 Keith & District 01542 882320 Kincardine O’Neil Longside Lumphanan Methlick New Deer 01771 644701 New Pitsligo 01771 653354 Oldmachar 01224 704717 Oldmeldrum 01651 872527 Peterhead Stonehaven 01569 763655 Strichen 01771 637792 Tarves & District Turriff & District 01888 563231 Upper Donside ANGUS, PERTHSHIRE & FIFE 07530 380545 Alyth Arbroath 01241 873964

Blairgowrie & Rattray (sub-branch Perth)

01250 873882 Braco & Greenloaning Brechin 01356 622562 Callander Carnoustie 01241 854940 Ceres & District City of Dundee Crail Crieff 01764 652937 Crossgates 01383 511478 Cupar Dunblane Dunfermline 01383 723921 Dunkeld & Birnam 01350 727773 Forfar 01307 463204 Glenrothes Kennoway 01333 350332 Kirkcaldy Leven 01333 426058 Montrose 01674 672406 Newburgh Pitlochry & Blair Atholl St Andrews Stirling Tayport EDINBURGH, LOTHIANS & BORDERS 0131 550 1590 Bathgate 01506 631989 Cockenzie & Port Seton 01875 810103 Coldstream 01890 882109 Dalkeith 0131 663 3235 Dunbar 01368 863275

32 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018





Duns Edinburgh Central 0131 557 8164 Edinburgh HQ Eyemouth Galashiels 01896 752457 Haddington Hawick Jedburgh 01835 863201 Kelso 01573 224506 Liddesdale Linburn Livingston Longniddry 01875 853241 Melrose


Newbattle & Gorebridge Peebles Penicuik 01968 672095 Portobello 0131 669 5418 Prestonpans 01875 811446 Roslin 0131 440 2174 Selkirk & Ettrick Forest St Boswells GLASGOW, AYRSHIRE, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY 01461 337167/ 07964 669630

Annan Biggar & District Bridge of Weir 01505 613530 Cambuslang Campbeltown Castle Douglas 01556 504499 Clackmannanshire & District Cumbernauld 01236 735263 Dalbeattie Dumfries & Maxwelltown Easdale East Kilbride 01355 233545

Forth 01555 811317 Gatehouse & District Glasgow HQ Grangemouth 01324 483040 Hamilton Inveraray Irvine 01294 313164 Isle of Bute Kilmarnock Kilwinning Knightswood 0141 959 2721 Largs Maybole Millport 01475 530052 Moffat Monkton & Prestwick including Ayr Newton Mearns Newton Stewart Oban Paisley Comrades 0141 889 9281 Saltcoats, Ardrossan & Stevenston Sanquhar Stranraer Thornhill Troon HIGHLANDS & ISLANDS 01463 233743 Assynt Aviemore & Rothiemurchus 01479 810892

of Legion Scotland your membership also entitles you to use any other branch across Scotland. A separate fee may apply for using a branch with a club. Branches are listed under five areas, in alphabetical order. Those marked also have a Legion Scotland social club affiliated to them. Clubs that offer accommodation are marked with a .

Badenoch Beauly Black Isle Creich & Kincardine Dingwall (sub-branch Strathpeffer)

01349 863278 Forres 01309 672131 Fort Augustus 01320 366247 Fort William & District Glenurquhart Golspie Helmsdale Invergordon Inverness 01463 234378 Kirkwall 01856 873297 Lerwick 01595 692325 Lewis Lochalsh Lochbroom Lossiemouth Nairn 01667 453201 North Skye Sanday Scalloway 01595 880355 Strathspey 01479 873690 Stromness 01856 850731 Tain Thurso 01847 893417 Uist Wick, Canisbay and Latheron

RIDERS BRANCH 07884 004890 Across the country

Visit your local club Legion Scotland clubs are a great place for ex-service people to get together. Clubs across the country may offer some or all of the following:

• Bingo • Dancing • Snooker • Darts • Lunch and dinner • TV lounge • Function rooms

Call your local club to find out about their facilities and forthcoming events

FURTHER AFIELD 0032 (0) 57 365 152 Passchendaele, Belgium HEADQUARTERS BRANCH 0131 550 1586 Ideal for those abroad, or with no branch nearby WOMEN’S SECTION 07826 104879 Arbroath Ayr & Prestwick Bridge of Weir Coldstream Crail Dingwall Dunbar Earlston Ellon Forfar Galashiels Glenrothes Inverness Inverurie Larkhall Loanhead Lossiemouth Methilhill Montrose Oldmachar Oldmeldrum Paisley Stonehaven Turriff

Planning a trip? Legion Scotland clubs are delighted to welcome visiting veterans from across the country. Meals and activities may be available for booked groups. Get in touch with a club in your planned destination to find out what they can offer. For contact details see opposite or visit our website

Royal British Legion Scotland: at the heart of Scotland’s veteran community

AUTUMN 2018 www.legionscotland.org.uk 33


LEGION SCOTLAND has more than 150 branches across Scotland, from Kirkwall to Dumfries, and the Isle of Bute to Edinburgh. Every branch is run by volunteers and every one is different. What they all have in common is their desire to work towards improving the circumstances of ex-service people across Scotland. When you join your local branch





British soldiers in France celebrate the Armistice


Y THE 11TH hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, when the Armistice between the Allies and Germany came into force, more than 700,000 British troops had died, and in excess of twice that number had been injured. The First World War had touched every household in the country, and

would continue to loom over the lives of the population for generations. A century later, it still does. The unbridled joy of the young British men in our picture at hearing news of the Allied victory is etched on their faces, captured for posterity by a photographer whose name has sadly been lost along the way.

34 www.legionscotland.org.uk AUTUMN 2018

Of course, the contribution of Scotland’s infantry regiments to the outcome of the war was significant, as was the scale of their losses. Men of the Black Watch, the Seaforth Highlanders, the Royal Scots and more fought with courage on the Western

Front and in Mesopotamia, in Greece and Gallipoli, in Egypt and Palestine. Vast numbers never returned home. Many of those who did were forever changed by their experiences. But all were heroes. And still are.

The First World War had touched every household