Scottish soldiers join forces with Afghan National Police

2 Scots joined forces with the Afghan National Police to drive out insurgants

SCOTTISH soldiers joined forces with the Afghan National Police to claim back a huge part of the country from the Taleban.

In just a few hours they drove out insurgents, arrested key leaders of the terrorist group and seized a massive haul of drugs and weapons.

Operation ZMARAY SARAK 5 saw three security forces come together, including the 2 Scots the Royal Highland Fusiliers.

Three drugs runners were captured along with 250 kilogrammes of heroin in the first part of the process to clear the area around Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province.

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Edinburgh hosts European Military Climbing Competition

By Christine Lavelle and Clare Carswell

EDINBURGH played host to military climbing teams from across Europe this week for the European Military Climbing Competition.  The British team consisting of service men and woman from the Royal Navy, the RAF and the Army, made their final preparations for the competition at Edinburgh Castle.

There were more than 100 participants at the Edinburgh International Climbing Centre during the two day event from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Soldiers march through Edinburgh after six months in Afghanistan

By Amanda MacMillan


AN emotional tear was shed by many as the troops from 1SCOTS marched through Colinton in Edinburgh last Friday ahead of a march down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile last Saturday.

Onlookers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the soldiers who have just returned from a six-month tour in Afghanistan.

Lynne Fell, from Edinburgh, came out to see the troops with her mum who is just out of hospital. She said: “It’s just so important to support the guys who have just come back.

 “The tissues have had to come out. I found the whole thing so emotional and just loved everything about it. I’m just so grateful for what they are doing for us.” Continue reading

Edinburgh based soldier asked girls for pix in their underwear

By Christine Lavelle

A SCOTS based soldier asked teenage girls to send him pictures of themselves in their underwear and kept more than 500 indecent images of children on his computer.

Corporal Gavin Booth, 30, based at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh with 3 Rifles, admitted possessing and distributing images of children, sending text messages to teenage girls which were both “sexual and lewd” in nature and contacting underage girls online.

Booth pled guilty to four charges which happened between June 2007 and August 2009, but pled not guilty to a charge of making his own indecent images.

Today (Tue) Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how his wife had logged onto his laptop while he was away on a camping trip, and found emails confirming friend requests he had sent to girls aged between 14 and 19 on the social networking site Facebook. Continue reading

Hearts of those who fought to be remembered in musical

By Amanda MacMillan

THEIRS is the inspirational tale of bravery and heroism which to this day remains among the most poignant in British football.

The story of McCrae’s Battalion – which saw two thirds of its men lost in the Somme during World War I – has already been the subject of books and documentaries.

Now, as Remembrance Day fast approaches, it has been revealed that a musical has now also been penned about those who lost their lives and is on course to be performed at next year’s Fringe Festival.

Steve Potter, 58, an investment manager from Duddingston in Edinburgh, wrote the show about McCrae’s Battalion which was famously made up of mostly Scottish footballers including almost the entire Hearts first team. Continue reading

Soldiers honoured for bravery in Afghanistan

By Amanda MacMillan

SCOTS-based soldiers have been honoured for acts of bravery while serving on a tough six-month tour of Afghanistan

The soldiers, all from the 3 RIFLES Battlegroup, had their awards announced in the Operational Honours List which was released today (Fri).

Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, the 3rd Battalion’s commanding officer, was awarded a Distinguished Service Order, for continuous outstanding leadership during a seven month tour which saw 30 members of his Battlegroup killed in action and many more injured.

His citation reads: “Determined to apply a ‘people- centric’ approach to counter insurgency, Kitson improved conditions immeasurably for the people of Sangin and set about building a protected community by establishing a series of patrol bases on the outside of the town that would allow him to patrol inwards, guaranteeing the safety of the people that lived within. Continue reading

Father pays tribute to Commonwealth champion daughter

By Amanda MacMillan

THE father of the former Scots Judo Champion who died suddenly while serving in the Army in England has said he “couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.”

Ian Hart, 60, paid tribute to his daughter Corporal Stephanie Hart who died aged 29.

Miss Hart, originally from Sighthill in Edinburgh, won a bronze for Scotland at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 before signing up for the Army shortly before the outbreak of the war in Iraq.

She was serving in Aldershot, Hampshire with the 10th Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment when she passed away on August 28.

Her death took place off barracks. Continue reading