THIS week’s Courier was published on Remembrance Day, when our thoughts turn again to the end of the First World War and to all those who died during it and subsequent conflicts since 1918.

Last month, I attended the Scottish Parliament launch reception for this year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal, which also recognised the amazing work undertaken by some of Poppyscotland’s most dedicated volunteers. 2021 marks 100 years of the poppy and, with last year’s appeal badly impacted by the pandemic, the centenary appeal takes on even greater significance – with a newly designed centenary poppy.

Money raised supports the charity’s life-changing work delivering support to over 500,000 members of the armed forces community in Scotland. The funding and assistance provided to serving and former armed forces personnel and their families by the charity includes vital advice, employment, housing, mental health, mobility and respite services.

Anyone in the armed forces community in East Lothian in need of advice or support from Poppyscotland can call 0131 550 1557 or visit

The late Willie Innes, an army veteran himself, cared passionately about members of our armed forces, their families and veterans. Under his leadership in 2018, East Lothian Council and its community planning partners agreed an Armed Forces Covenant to provide help, support and advice to the armed forces community living in the county.

A service to celebrate Willie’s life took place at Prestonpans Cemetery on Friday) when the community remembered the great man and his commitment to his beloved Prestonpans and East Lothian.