Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday November 10th. 2013
 A distinguished army veteran with four medals on his coat was distributing poppies in Lidl’s in Fort William last weekend. He was a volunteer for Poppyscotland.     We wear poppies at this time of year to remember. But the poppy is more than that, and our own organisation here, Poppyscotland, does a heroic job in raising funds. It  helps and supports men and women who, fighting in the Armed Forces, were injured, some so severely they have found it hard to survive unaided in the outside world.     Private Stephen Bainbridge of 3 Scots Regiment, lost both his legs in Afghanistan on Remembrance Day 2011. He tells us  “Poppyscotland help people like me rebuild our lives. From therapy to housing, mobility aids to retraining, Poppyscotland is there for the long haul.”      For over 90 years the Scottish Poppy Appeal has been raising funds to support Servicemen and women. Sadly the demand on their services is as great as it has even been, and increasing all the time. War seems to be an ever present reality in the world, the two most recent conflicts to affect
our country being the Iraq War and the Afghan War.     Whether someone has suffered a catastrophic battlefield injury, is haunted by horrific events they witnessed on the front-line, or is simply struggling to adjust to life outside the Armed Forces, Poppyscotland provides practical help.     Since 2011, twenty organisations received funding from Poppyscotland of nearly £1 million to enable them to deliver specialist support to veterans. From retraining, housing, mobility aids and many more areas, the help given by the charity is essential in the help it gives to those who have given so much (I am grateful to Margaret Muncie for her two articles in this week’s Bulletin and  last week’s for Remembrance Sunday) The 11.30 a.m. Mass today will be offered for the  repose of the souls of all those, military and civilian, who lost their lives in the two great World Wars, and the ensuing wars which, sadly, continue today, and where lives are still being lost in the service of peace. It was with sadness we witnessed the brave widows in the BBC Service of Remembrance on Saturday evening.   
Remembrance Sunday
Today, representatives of the armed forces and members of the public,  will gather at the Commando Memorial, among them will be a few of the remaining commandos who served in the great war, now in their late eighties and nineties. They were exceedingly brave men who volunteered to be part of  a highly trained group who would make the most daring raids into enemy territory, which had a great effect to achieve final victory.. Lochaber was their training ground, especially Achnacarry, where they endured the most austere conditions in winter to prepare selves for any eventuality. Many were to make the supreme  sacrifice of their lives for their king and  country, and today we remember and honour them. May they rest in peace.