Board of Trustees

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PRESIDENT - Lt Gen. Sir Alistair Irwin KCB CBE MA

Alistair Irwin was commissioned into The Black Watch in 1970 after graduating from St Andrew’s University (Political Economy). He is the third generation of his family to have served in the Regiment. He commanded 1st Battalion The Black Watch in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and West Berlin. His later appointments have been as General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland and then Adjutant General, responsible for all personnel matters in the Army. He retired from the Army in June 2005.

Sir Alistair has a number of honorary and voluntary appointments including: President of Poppyscotland, President of the Royal British Legion Scotland, President of the Officers’ Association Scotland and Vice President of the Royal Caledonian Education Trust. He is Chairman of the Black Watch Castle and Museum Trust and sits on the Scottish Government’s Great War Commemoration Advisory Panel. He is an officer in the Royal Company of Archers (Queen’s Body Guard for Scotland). He was Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission until 2013.

CHAIRMAN - Jason Coward

Jason Coward was appointed Chairman of Poppyscotland in July 2020.  He has been a Trustee of Poppyscotland’s parent charity, The Royal British Legion (TRBL), since 2014. He is Chair of TRBL’s Membership Council and is also a Trustee of the National Memorial Arboretum – another of the charities within the TRBL group. Jason runs his own marketing consultancy and has worked with many commercial and third sector organisations over the years.

DIRECTOR GENERAL TRBL - Charles Byrne

Charles Byrne was appointed Director General of The Royal British Legion in May 2016. Charles joined the Legion in October 2012 as the Director of Fundraising and was instrumental in increasing fundraising income during 2014/15 by 16% year-on-year and in launching the ‘Live On’ brand expression at the 2014 Poppy Appeal.

Charles brings a wealth of third sector and commercial experience to the role having previously held positions of Head of High Level Giving and Corporate Events at Macmillan, and in commercial and retail management roles at BAA (Terminal 5), World Duty Free, Allders International and Oddbins.

Professor Alexander Davison

Professor Sandy Davison was educated at Daniel Stewart’s College, Edinburgh and Edinburgh University gaining a B.Sc Pathology (1st Class Honours). His career culminated as Consultant Renal Physician Director, Regional Renal Unit, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds and he became Honorary Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Leeds in 1996.

Between 1973 and 1994 he served as Surgeon Lieutenant Commander, Royal Naval Reserve and was appointed Principal Medical Officer, HMS Ceres in 1987. He has served as a Director of the Lady Haig Poppy Factory since 2004, becoming Chairman in 2008.

Allan Colin Campbell Lapsley OVRM TD DL

Allan Lapsley has been on the Board (and it’s predecessor the Scottish Advisory Committee) since 2012, and was Chairman of the Poppyscotland Board of Trustees from December 2016 - June 2019. He joined the Torridon Group as a Director in 1976 after qualifying in Business Studies. In 2004 he was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Glasgow. He is a member of the Merchant House of the City of Glasgow and is a 10th generation member of the Trades House of Glasgow. In 2007 he became the Deputy Chairman and a Vice Chairman (Military) of Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Allan joined the Territorial Army in 1973, was a Staff Officer at both 52 (Lowland) Brigade and HQ Scotland. He commanded 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) from 1996 to 1999 and then moved to HQ Scotland / 2nd Division as SO1 G1. In 2001 he was promoted becoming Colonel TA, TA & Reserves MCM Division, at the APC and was involved in organizing the first of the compulsory mobilizations of the Reserves for OP TELICs 1 to 4. He is a qualified adjudication officer for determining appeals and has made a number of operational visits. From 2004 -07 he was the Deputy Commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade and from 2007 – 09 he worked for GOC 2nd Division as a projects officer. In September 2009 he assumed the post as the Regimental Colonel TA for the Royal Corps of Signals. He was awarded the Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal in the 1999 New Year Honours List. In June 2008 he was appointed as Honorary Colonel of 32 (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers) and in March 2010 he was appointed as Honorary Colonel of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Officer Training Corps.

Patrick O’Meara

Pat is a senior manager with the Scottish Ambulance Service. He has worked in a number of clinical, operational and managerial roles in London and Scotland in a career of almost 40 years. He is responsible for the management of all day to day ambulance operational activity in Scotland and has held multiple roles including incident command of major incidents such as the Clutha Bar helicopter disaster and the George Square bin lorry tragedy. He is a registered paramedic and practices his trade when time allows. Pat is a trustee of the Scottish Ambulance Service benevolent fund.

A colonel with the Army Cadet Force, Pat is currently the Colonel Cadets Scotland, the senior volunteer in the country, acting as an expert adviser to 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland. He is a board member of the Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and is the deputy chair of the Army Cadet Force Association Scotland.
Pat joined the Poppyscotland board in December 2017.

Joe Falzon

Joe Falzon was born in Malta and attended the Lyceum before joining the Royal Regiment of Artillery as a Junior Leader in 1963. He enjoyed a full military career seeing service in the United Kingdom, West Germany, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong and was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1973 whilst serving in Belfast. On retirement from the British Army in 2001, Joe joined the Royal British Legion as the Head of Governance & Administration, before retiring in June 2010.

Joe was elected as a Trustee of The Royal British Legion in May 2014. During his first tenure he was a Member of the Property Committee and the Branch Property Trusts Trustee Committee. He was re-elected in 2017 and was then entrusted as Chair of the Property Committee and the Legion’s International Committee (from 2018). During this time Joe was also closely linked to the World Veterans Federation based in Paris and served as their interim Secretary General for one year. Joe was appointed a Director of Poppyscotland in September 2019.

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