Veterans with sight loss gather at Hawkhead Centre for Remembrance Service

Press Release | 12/11/2019

Veterans with sight loss gathered with local community representatives at Scottish War Blinded’s Hawkhead Centre in Paisley on Tuesday, November 12 to honour the fallen.

The remembrance service was led by Reverend Robert Craig, with Scottish War veteran Toby Falconer, 62, of Glenmavis, acting as wreath bearer on behalf of all Scottish War Blinded veterans.

This year, local school children joined Hawkhead’s remembrance service for the first time. The community police, Royal Engineers cadets and the British Legion were also represented.

Veteran Toby Falconer lays the poppy wreath at the Hawkhead Centre's Tommy statue

Paisley veteran Ronnie Scobie, who has just returned to Scotland after marching for Scottish War Blinded in London at the Cenotaph parade on Remembrance Sunday, was the standard bearer for the ceremony.

And army veteran Drew Crockett, of Cardross, who began attending the Hawkhead Centre six months ago, gave a stirring pipes performance.

Wreath bearer Toby Falconer, who has split vision and regularly attends the Hawkhead Centre, said: “It was an honour to be asked to lay the wreath. This service makes us proud. We also remember all the Scottish War Blinded members who are no longer with us. We will never forget them.”

After the service, the veterans and their guests enjoyed a meal together at the centre, with musical entertainment provided Music in Hospitals & Care.

The remembrance service took place following the return to Scotland of a group of 20 Scottish War Blinded veterans who proudly represented the charity in the March Past at Whitehall.  

Hawkhead Centre Manager, Gillian McDonald, said: “We were glad to bring Scottish War Blinded veterans from across the region together at the Hawkhead Centre. Thank you to all who came along. The remembrance service is close to all of our hearts. Events like the March Past on Remembrance Sunday and today’s service at the centre are an honour for us.”

Scottish War Blinded gives free support to former servicemen and women of all ages, no matter if they lost their sight during or after service. Visit www.scottishwarblinded.org or call 0800 035 6409 to refer a veteran to the charity.