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Willie lays wreaths for Iraq War dead

Scots Guardsman Willie Findlay has memorialised the fallen soldiers of the Iraq War.

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Willie lays wreaths for Iraq War dead

THE FORMER soldier laid 179 wreaths at Eastriggs and Dornock War Memorial last Friday, with each having a name inscribed in the middle for a soldier that fell during the Iraq war between 2003-11.

Also attending the small ceremony were fellow veteran Kenneth Madgin and Jock Hume, whose father was in the Army.

At 1pm, Willie blew a whistle to begin the proceedings. Then he performed a simulated gun salute using blanks. After that, he performed a roll call of all 179 soldiers.

His granddaughter Chloe Findlay sang to close the ceremony.

FOR THE FALLEN. . . Willie gave a roll call for all 139 soldiers

Willie chose to commemorate the fallen soldiers because one of them was a Scots Guardsman, and he felt that they all deserved to be remembered.

He had originally intended to perform the ceremony in 2020, but the event was cancelled and delayed due to Covid-19 and the lockdowns.

He wrote a letter to the Queen and notified the Scots Guards of his actions.

Explaining why he picked Friday 13, he noted the Scot Guardsman lost his life on December 13 2012, and Willie’s own cousin was killed in action off the coast of Greece on a Friday 13.

REMEMBERING . . . Left to right: Kenny Madgin, Jock Hume, Willie Findlay

Willie has been laying wreaths to honour fallen soldiers for several years now. From the survivors of WWII, to those that didn’t return home.

Expressing his disdain for war and the reasons for it, Willie said: “People never remember the fallen.

“Men and women go past monuments and memorials like these every day and never bat an eye for the people that fell protecting their freedoms.

“Real folks lose their lives in battles like these. They die. They’re killed because they’re soldiers, following the orders of those that never dip their toes into a firefight. And it isn’t right for any of them.”

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