Poppyscotland volunteers like Ronnie Wilson willingly give up their free time and play a vital role in the Poppy Appeal and many of our other fundraising activities. In fact, we simply couldn’t do it without them.
Here, we catch up with Ronnie to find out more about him and why he so kindly chooses to be one of our amazing volunteers.
Memories of National Service
Private Ronnie Wilson wanted only to serve his country. When asked about his National Service (1955-57), the former Queen’s Own Cameron Highlander proudly states: “I never gave it a thought! I asked to go abroad and received a very quick response: ‘Dinnae ye worry, laddie, yer on yer way!”
And on his way he went, with Ronnie serving in both Korea and Aden. He takes on the story: “I found myself on the way to Korea, along with 100,000 other National Servicemen. My abiding memory is of the cold when we were on night patrols; people don’t realise, but the temperature could drop to minus 25 degrees where we were.” It was a conflict that left more than 4,500 service personnel killed or injured.
After a year, Ronnie, who is from Edinburgh, experienced the other extreme when he was sent to Aden and its 100-degree heat. Ronnie remembers: “Again, I was sent on patrol a lot of the time, but I recall we lived in tents and we used to dig down under the sand to sleep so that we were below the range of bullets which were fired at us. It was an interesting time, but I was glad when my National Service was over and I could return home.”
Why Ronnie volunteers with Poppyscotland
Eighty-two-year-old Ronnie has not forgotten his comrades and regularly volunteers at Edinburgh’s Garden of Remembrance: “I see many of the same faces every year, but I do also like speaking to other people who share their stories with me; it’s very moving. The atmosphere is special and it’s nice that so many come along to pay their respects.”
When asked why he has volunteered on and off for the past 20 years, Ronnie admits: “I have always been keen to help service personnel and I would urge anyone to volunteer for Poppyscotland. It’s a fantastic experience and one to be enjoyed.”
Poppyscotland needs you – If you have some spare time, want to meet like-minded people and help to raise vital funds, we’d be delighted to welcome you to our team of amazing volunteers. To volunteer please:
Call: 0131 550 1597
Text: VOLUNTEER to 82222 (standard network rates apply)