Student raises money for Help for Heroes

A SCOTS student has set up the UK’s first ever university society in support of the Help for Heroes campaign.

Seonaid Holsgrove, 21, from Wemyss Bay, is in her final year at Strathclyde University and set up the movement to help raise money.

She was spurred into action by anti-war protests and groups at the university against troop activities, and she wanted to do something to show that there is support for the forces.

Ahead of today’s Remembrance Sunday services, she said: “On campus it feels quite anti-war and anti-soldiers.“A Navy recruitment team came to the university and they had to leave because of the protests.

“The society is to give people like me an outlet and let people know that there is place supporting the guys.”

A stall was set up in the university last Monday to attract more members to the group which managed to raise £223.40 in donations.

The group has also organised a charity army pub crawl and is planning a black tie ball with the “I love my heroes” theme for Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

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Graphic novel launched telling of soldier’s trauma after Afghanistan war

By Amanda MacMillan

A GRAPHIC novel which tells the story of a soldier’s return from the war in Afghanistan has been described by war veterans as “absolutely brilliant”.

Dougie’s War went on sale yesterday and tells the story of Dougie Campbell, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan returning home to the south side of Glasgow.

The novel depicts his inner struggle to adjust to civilian life as he battles with his memories of the war.

Scottish veterans, David Cruickshanks and Shaun Davidson, both from Fife Veterans Association, launched the explosive new graphic novel at Edinburgh Castle.

It is the first release by independent Glasgow publishers Freight with words by acclaimed novelist and biographer Rodge Glass and pictures by artist Dave Turbitt. Continue reading

Scots war hero Mark Wright to feature in TV show

Mark Wright on patrol in Afghanistan

By Cara Sulieman

THE STORY of a Scottish soldier who received the George Cross after his death in Afghanistan is to be told on television.

Mark Wright was injured in a minefield in 2006 and will feature in a documentary about George Cross Heroes, based on a book by deputy Tory chairman Lord Ashcroft.

The Discovery Channel programme is being made to tie in with the opening of a new gallery at the Imperial War Museum in London which will feature Lord Ashcroft’s collection of George Crosses and Victoria Crosses.

Corporal Wright’s father Bob runs the Mark Wright Project in Dalkeith with his wife Jem and he went down to London to be interviewed for George Cross Heroes.

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Gulf War tank just £12k on MOD’s very own eBay

By Michael MacLeod

A TANK which went up for public auction on the internet has sold for more than twice its estimated value.

The Soviet-designed T55 Battle Tank was captured from the Iraqi army by UK Armed Forces during the first Gulf War.

The four-tonne military machine was valued at just £5,000 when it first went under the hammer last week.

Now, after a frantic flurry of bidding, an unnamed war memorabilia collector has snapped up the huge vehicle for £12,500.

The seller, Paul Southerington, has been the MOD’s only authorised vehicle and equipment dealer for eight years.
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Thug Who Robbed War Hero Medals From Sheriff Is Jailed

By Michael MacLeod

A THUG who attacked and robbed a retired sheriff of his wartime medals has been jailed for 38 months.

Michael MacKinnon, 26, burst into 91 year-old William Hook’s Edinburgh townhouse and covered the ex-sheriff’s head with a towel before ransacking his home.

The pensioner bravely fought back and gave the intruder a black eye, forcing him out his back door where he got stuck in a river and was arrested by police.

Today (TUESDAY) sentencing Sheriff Derrick McIntyre told MacKinnon that the fact his victim was also a sheriff was “irrelevant.”

He said: “The point is that this was a 91 year-old man living alone and you assaulted and robbed him.

“Elderly citizens are entitled to feel safe in their own homes from people like you.” Continue reading

Proud mum welcomes back soldier son

By Paul Thornton

A PROUD mum has spoken at her relief of seeing her soldier son return home safe and sound from Afghanistan this week – as she prepares to wave her other boy off to the same deadly war zone.

Linda Wight, 59, welcomed home son Chris after the 28-year-old came back with B Company 1 Scots as part of the 3 Rifles Battle Group which has just endured the bloodiest losses since the start of the campaign.

Chris returned just before the last of the battle group arrived home last Wednesday, with the force suffering 30 losses during their six month tour.

It was the SIXTH time Linda has welcomed a son home, with Chris also completing two earlier tours of Iraq and older brother Neil having come back from three visits to the Gulf.

But –with uncertainty hanging over where Catterick based Corporal Neil, 33, will be posted next – Linda insists that it never becomes any easier to say goodbye to her boys.

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Mum of slain paratrooper presented with Elizabeth Cross

By Paul Thornton

THE MUM of a fallen Scots paratrooper spoke of her overwhelming pride at being presented with an Elizabeth Cross in his memory on Friday night.

Jem Wright, 58, told how helping comfort other soldiers through the post-traumatic stress of war has helped keep her son Mark alive in their hearts.

Hero Mark, 27, of 3 Para, was killed while trying to save the lives of his fellow soldiers on September 6, 2006, when they were trapped in an Afghan minefield.

The Dalkeith man was posthumously awarded the George Cross for gallantry after trying to divert a Chinook helicopter away from the site, dying in an explosion triggered by the downdraft of the massive aerial machine.

Now his memory lives on through the Mark Wright Project – set up by his mum Jem and dad Bobby – who together have become something of surrogate parents for scores of shattered squaddies struggling to adapt back to Civvy street. Continue reading