This week’s Courier is 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 being badly impacted by the pandemic, the centenary Appeal takes on an even greater significance. The 2021 Appeal also sees a newly designed centenary Poppy marking this meaningful date with 100 embossed in gold lettering.

Money raised from the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal and Poppyscotland’s year-round fundraising supports the charity’s life-changing work delivering support to over 500,000 members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland. The tailored 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 for more information.

The late Willie Innes, who was 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 will take place at Prestonpans Cemetery tomorrow (Friday 12th November) when the community will remember the great man and his commitment to his beloved Prestonpans and East Lothian. The cortege will leave Prestonpans Labour Club at 10:50am, so anyone wishing to walk with the family is invited to meet outside the club at 10:45am.