A Cumbernauld man will be among a group of Scottish veterans marching at the Cenotaph in London on Remembrance Sunday, marking the centenary of the end of World War One.
The 12 veterans, aged 35-90, all have visual impairment and are supported by Scottish War Blinded, will join thousands of fellow veterans in the march to remember those who have suffered or died serving their country.
This is the first time Scottish War Blinded has taken part in the March Past – and the veterans are especially honoured to be involved in marking the Armistice Centenary.
The experience will become a reality for Scottish War Blinded after the suggestion to apply was put forward by one of the veterans who attends the charity’s activity hub in Paisley – the Hawkhead Centre.
Jim Stevenson (71), from Cumbernauld, who served in the Royal Highland Fusiliers, will take part in the march. His sight loss began five years ago as a result of macular degeneration.
Jim, who has also visited Normandy with Scottish War Blinded, said: “The sacrifices people made should never be forgotten. I just think people should know about it.
“From a personal perspective, I was part of the Royal Highland Fusiliers – formed from The Highland Light Infantry, which lost many in the war, and The Royal Scots Fusiliers. I’ll be going down to London with friends from the Hawkhead Centre. It’s the same camaraderie as it was in the Forces. That’s what the centre is about for me.”
The Hawkhead Centre’s deputy manager Gillian McDonald will accompany the veterans in the march.
She said: “With sight loss and health difficulties it’s going to be challenging, but they are so determined to take part. Scottish War Blinded will support the veterans to participate in this important day, despite their sight loss, as we promote participation each day through our activity centres and outreach work.”