Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Poppyscotland 2011

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has passed since I made our traditional mention of the annual poppy appeal, in particular our own Poppyscotland local variation on the national theme.

I make this small contribution to maintaining awareness of this appeal, since so many of the secret, or lost, items which can be identified around Scotland have a basis somewhere in the two great conflicts, and even today, we are discovering formerly unknown links to that past, as archives are trawled, and sealed records opened.

Sadly, the chances of discovering any new revelations from survivors are now dwindling rapidly, and we can only hope that those who have remained silent will share their knowledge, before it is perhaps lost forever.

Poppyscotland 2011

This year, at least as I make this post, it is not tarnished by some tale of bottom-feeders having stolen donations – although I suspect that is more likely to be my failure to detect this, rather than its absence somewhere in the land.

There is however, an act of disrespect and desecration to past heroes and their memorial, with the increasing occurrence of theft of statues, plaques, and other metalwork from memorial (and not just war memorials) by metal thieves, and scrap metal dealers with no scruples, who are happy to part with untraceable cash in exchange for items which the seller obviously can have no right to be disposing of. BOTH deserve to be caught and dealt with harshly by the authorities. The crime is bad enough, and the addition of insult needs to be dealt with similarly.

BBC News – Metal thieves target Britain’s war memorials

On a more positive note, Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory celebrated its 90th anniversary this year:

A Scottish Government minister has paid tribute to veterans who work at the country’s only poppy factory.

On Tuesday, Transport and Housing Minister Keith Brown, who is responsible for veterans’ issues, visited Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Edinburgh.

The factory employs disabled veterans to hand-assemble the poppies and wreaths which form a key part of Armistice Day ceremonies.

Every year more than five million poppies and 8000 wreaths are produced for the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal, which is marking its 90th year.

The 40 former servicemen employed at the factory have just finished making the poppies for this year’s appeal, and are now starting on next year’s consignment.

Mr Brown said: “The Scottish Poppy Appeal run by Poppyscotland is a fantastic example of the respect and pride we bestow on our war veterans. Without the funding raised by the appeal, many simply would have nowhere else to turn for support.

“In many respects, the issues facing our armed forces as they return from battle are similar to what they would have been 90 years ago when the poppy appeal was established.

“Over the years there has been a tremendous amount of money donated and, as our military involvement continues to grow, so too does the need for us to support our ex-servicemen and women.”

Poppy factory celebrates 90th anniversary of appeal | Edinburgh News | STV Local

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November 1, 2011 - Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, military, Naval, World War I, World War II | , ,

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