Welcome to ASA Scotland Charity

Supporting our Armed Forces

Our Charity engages with young people across the Nation to inform them of our Armed Forces heritage from WW1, WW2 to the current day, we believe it is important to remember 365 days a year!


Colin MacLachlan

Royal Scots & 22 SAS Veteran

Colin Maclachlan is a former SAS soldier with over 25 years of security and risk related experience, best known for appearing in Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins and Channel 5’s Secrets of the SAS.

Colin was involved in some of the most high profile and daring SAS missions in recent time. Only a handful of men have been involved in hostage negotiations, hostage rescue and been a hostage themselves and Colin is one of them.

On one mission, Colin waded through swamps in Sierra Leone to hunt down the ‘West Side Boys‘, a guerrilla gang holding 11 British soldiers hostage. It was a mission so dangerous they nicknamed it ‘Operation Certain Death’ – it’s real name was Operation Barras. The SAS teams secured the hostages’ building and neutralised any West Side Boys.

Maclachlan was also the first sniper on the scene when a hijacked flight with 180 passengers landed at Stansted. Sparking a four-day stand-off, it was the longest standing hostage siege on UK soil to date. Four years later, Colin found himself on the other side of a rescue mission after he was taken hostage in Basra. Blindfolded, battered and stripped naked, he had a gun pressed to his head and the trigger pulled, as his captors held mock executions. Colin only survived long enough for British troops to rescue him because the terrorists wanted to film his suffering in a propaganda video before they executed him.

Colin left the SAS shortly after completing an exchange programme with Delta Force and Seal Team 6, and has since provided security consultancy for the Saudi Royal Family, Celebrities, and US Media Networks.

Colin has a First Class MA (Hons.) in History from Edinburgh University and an M.Litt in Terrorism from St. Andrews University.

I now visit businesses and organisations across the United Kingdom and raise funds for charities. Get in touch to book Colin for your event.


Provost of Falkirk Council William Buchanan

"I am honoured to be the President of this wonderful charity"

I was asked three years ago to become Honorary President of Ancre Somme Association Scotland and I accepted the position without question.

I have observed and witnessed first hand the fantastic work of this Armed Forces voluntary charity.

The people involved work tirelessly to engage with young people, communities, organisations and businesses to ensure we never forget those who have served Sovereign and Nation.

This charity has created Memorials, presented Remembrance Benches to schools, numerous legacy learning booklets, they have raised thousands for various charities and projects.

Provost William Buchanan Hon President of ASA Scotland


ASA Scotland Chairman

I truly believe every generation must understand the role of our Armed Forces and how they have shaped our Nation, from WW1, WW2 to the current day.

We owe it to our Veterans and to the men and women who serve in our Royal Force, British Army and the Royal Air Force today. If we dont understand our past, we may be doomed to repeat history. It is every person's duty to pass on the torch of remembrance, 365 days a year. We need your support, if you have the time, why not join us!


Our Trustee's

President William Buchanan
Ambassador Alexander Stewart MBE MSP 
Chairman John Jenkins
Secretary Tommy Davidson
John Knox


Our Ambassador's

Padre Philip Patterson

Alexander Stewart MBE MSP

Anas Sarwar MSP

Alison Moodie OBE 

Provost Tom Kerr

Provost Watson McAteer

Willie Henderson

Alan Brydon

John Knox 

Harry Day 

Assisting, supporting and promoting the voluntary charity work of ASA Scotland.



We are inclusive and welcome people from all backgrounds to our membership. We learn and share our Armed Forces heritage from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We have more in common that unites us than divides us. Please get in touch, if you can assist and support our work.


Strength in Diversity – Our Shared History

This is a shared history programme facilitated by the Ancre Somme Association that will explore the diversity of those who served in the British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces from the Great War to the present day.

Our aim is to bring our shared history to life using exhibitions, publications, lectures and accredited courses as we celebrate the diversity that has always existed throughout the United Kingdom.

SID Shared History programme provides a general introduction to historical and cultural links between those who served in the Commonwealth and Allied Forces and the United Kingdom with the main focus being the diversity of those who served during WW1 & WW2.

At the outbreak of the War in August 1914, the British Indian Army consisted of around 194,000 regular soldiers and by the Armistice in November 1918, the force had grown to nearly 1.5 million.

In total, the Indian Army sent around 1.5 million men and 173,000 animals from Indian ports to nearly all theatres of war across Europe, Africa and Asia. One in every six soldiers of the British Empire was from the Indian subcontinent; its contribution was the equivalent of all the forces from the then dominions of the British Empire combined (namely Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). Of these around 400,000 (about a third of the British Indian Army) were Muslims.

In 1940, more than 8,000 Polish airmen arrived on English soil to be met by a feeling of scepticism about their flying ability amongst the British pilots. But things were becoming desperate for the Royal Air Force with many of their most experienced pilots killed, wounded or simply exhausted. The first Polish fighter pilots joined RAF Squadrons in July that year. A total of 145 Polish airmen fought in the Battle of Britain, the largest non-British contingent, 79 airmen in various RAF squadrons, 32 in 302 Squadron and 34 in 303 Squadron. Twenty-nine Polish pilots, including Paszkiewicz, lost their lives in combat against the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain. These pilots are remembered at the Polish War Memorial near RAF Northolt.

In both world wars, African-Caribbean people also volunteered to serve in the Royal Air Force. These volunteers fought, and died, for the mother country and for freedom, and thereby helped preserve the values and the heritage they shared with their white comrades. Some 10,000 left their families and homes to join the British armed forces, working behind the scenes and on the frontline to defeat the Nazis.

The topics include focus on the role of the Commonwealth and Allied in both world wars; accounts of the experiences of the servicemen and women who participated in the wars; human stories of those servicemen and woman who served and died in the United Kingdom; and the relations between their countries and United Kingdom communities after WWII until present day.


• MODULE I   - Preconception: Understanding the meaning of the shared history

• MODULE II  - Disclosure: Recognise Cultural Differences

• MODULE III - Discovery: Understand why and how shared history contribute to positive relations

• MODULE IV - Conclusion: Understand the importance of ensuring an inclusive approach to diversity


"Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common, celebrate it every day" - Sir Winston Churchill

Did you know? Over 4 million soldiers from the British Indian Army fought in both World Wars - we must engage, inform, teach tolerance, understand shared values, respect, diversity, inspire, celebrate, commemorate and understand our shared military history across Scotland, the United Kingdom and across the World.

Colourful Heritage - Primary Schools Resource Pack description:

Colourful Heritage is an organisation dedicated to capturing, celebrating and inspiring others in the history of the immense contribution of South Asian migrants and Muslims to Scotland over the past century. Explore the key features of this unique story in the following resource pack, consisting of 5 units specially designed for Primary 6 and 7. Richly illustrated and complete with case studies, suggested lesson plans, discussion points and options for further reading, they each provide a self-contained learning unit, and a fantastic opportunity to teach children about a lesser-studied element of Scottish culture.

Primary Schools Resource Pack link:

Colourful Heritage - British Indian Army resource description:

Did you know that around four million South Asian soldiers fought on behalf of the British in World War One and World War Two? Here you will find a wide range of interactive, vividly illustrated resources reflecting on their immense contribution to the British war effort. From photographs, to interviews, real-life stories to shocking statistics, these easy-to-navigate materials are the perfect accompaniment to lesson plans and workshops for children of all ages. Explore them to discover a fascinating, often forgotten side of wartime history.

British Indian Army -

Thank you to Isobel Harling: Remembrance service for WWII British Indian Army soldiers buried in Kingussie

Force K6: Remembrance service for WWII British Indian Army soldiers buried in Kingussie

We Will Remember Them


Who We Are and What We Do

We are a voluntary charity, who visits schools/community group's across the Nation, we ensure young people fully understand the role of our Armed Forces.

ASA Scotland Charity, located in Scotland, we are dedicated to supporting our Armed Forces. We engage with schools, cadet forces, communities, Veteran's, Clergy, Councils, and our Armed Forces. We remember our Armed Forces history, those who have served, past, present, and future.


School visits

Passing on our Armed Forces heritage

To ensure our young people fully understand our local and National Armed Forces history that has shaped our Nation from WW1 and WW2. Ensuring every child understands the role of our Armed Forces today.


Community Events

Battle of Passchendaele 1917 - 2017

We held a parade, Church Service, and a Reception supported by West Lothian Council. Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant Ms Moira Niven MBE was our guest of honour, supported by 6 SCOTS and the Lowland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.


Passed Events and Feedback

ASA Scotland was formed 5 years ago after a trip to France and Belgium, to visit the graves, cemeteries, and various memorials.

Headmaster/children at Balbardie Primary School, Bathgate 2016

Headmaster/children Low Port Primary School, Linlithgow 2016

Robin Thomson Curriculum teacher at Broxburn Academy 2016

Lt Gary Tait Chairman MBE McCraes Battalion Trust 2016

West Lothian Council Provost Tom Kerr (ASA Hon Chairman) 2016

Depute Provost Dave King

Provost of Falkirk Council William Buchanan (ASA Scotland Hon President)

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick

West Lothian Lord Lt Isobel Brydie MBE 2016

West Lothian Lord Lt Ms Moira Niven MBE 2017

West Lothian Veterans Champion Cllr Alex Davidson 2016

ASA Patron Lt Col Ant Maher 2016

ASA Patron MSP Alexader Stewart MBE 2017

Alison Moodie OBE (ASA Ambassador) 2017

Anas Sarwar MSP supports Ribbon Of Poppies UK & Commonwealth 2019

Letters of support from St. Kentigerns Academy & Whitburn Academy, West Lothian 2018

Provost of Hawick Councill Watson McAteer (ASA Scotland Hon Member) 2018

MSP's cross party support for ASA Scotland motion to Scottish Parliament 2016

MSP's cross party, support Ribbon of Poppies UK & Commonwealth 2018

Invite from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019 Garden Party

Invite from West Lothian Council Civic Reception 2019

Letters of support from Bob Kemp CBE, Major Robert Stuart, Depute Headteacher Kirsten Patience

ASA Scotland forms John McAleese MM Commemoration Society 2019

ASA Scotland Nominated for Queen's Voluntary Award 2020

Ex 22 SAS Colin MacLachlan becomes Patron of ASA Scotland September 2020

Broxburn Academy was both honoured and delighted to be asked to participate on Saturday 22 October 2016 in the Commemoration of the 100th anniversary marking the end of the Battle of the Somme. The Ancre Somme Association's event held in Linlithgow Burgh Halls, St Michael's Church gave S4 pupil, Robyn Beckett the opportunity to share her recent success as the winner of a national poetry competition about WW1 events with a reading of her poem 'Living Nightmare' by West Lothian Provost Tom Kerr. Another S6 pupil, Sam Malone, recited and sang two extracts from the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, 'Far from Ypres' in which he appeared, accompanied by the show's producer, Liz Reid.

Broxburn Academy has close links with the Army Cadet detachment in the town as a result of the Uniformed Services and Leadership courses which are offered to pupils in the school. A group of Army Cadets were therefore also present on Saturday and were given the honour of participating alongside military veterans commemorating on behalf of the Ancre Somme Association. Lauren Berriman and Amir Khan read out the names of two soldiers who fell in the Somme and later shared how touched they both felt by being asked to participate in this way, 'It was a real privilege to be a part of such an important event remembering the men who died' Jack Langlands, a standard bearer for the event remarked 'I felt so proud & it was really the highlight of my time to date as a cadet'

Robin Thomson

Principal Teacher Curriculum

Additional Support Needs

Head of House, (Buchan)

Broxburn Academy

Cardross Rd

EH52 6AG

Tel. 01506 28230

Media and Press Reports:

Motion to Scottish Parliament:

Fusilier Gordon Gentle Remembered 15yrs on:

Lanarkshire Deputy Lieutenant Millar Stoddart DL 2019

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Delivering National best practice

"Nominated for Queen's Award Voluntary Service 2020"


Remembrance is every day

Bravery, Heroism, Valour

One of the main reasons ASA Scotland Charity was founded in 2016, was to bring our history from the Battlefields of Belgium and France to the classroom and communities across the Nation, as many children and families will never see them in their lifetime. If you would like to volunteer or even join, do get in touch.


Local factual history

Children love learning about our Armed Forces

One of our goals is to ensure our Armed Forces heritage is never forgotten and that our young people fully understand the price we have paid to defend our freedom, liberty, and way of life. Contact us to learn more or to book a visit.

"Nominated for Queen's Award Voluntary Service 2020"


Learning our Armed Forces heritage

Visiting the Sea, Army, and Air Cadets, sharing our Armed Forces heritage.


"Nominated for Queen's Award Voluntary Service 2020"


Learning our Armed Forces heritage

Visiting the Sea, Army, and Air Cadets, sharing our Armed Forces heritage.


Air Cadets

Learning about the Armed Forces

In 2018 and 2019 we visited the Air Cadets, sharing our Armed Forces heritage.


Local factual history

Visiting local graves

In every town and City there are Military graves, we research, we learn, we understand, we pay our respects, we pass on the Remembrance torch, to the next generation.

"Nominated for Queen's Award Voluntary Service 2020"

Royal Family

Take a Look


HM Queen Elizabeth II

A role model for the Nation


HM Queen 2019

Her Majesty is loved by the Nation


HRH Prince Charles

Future King



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Learning about WW1

Service of Commemoration to Robert Beveridge MM & Passchendaele 100 in October 2017 at Strathbrock Parish Church of Scotland St. Nicholas, Uphall, West Lothian. This booklet was created for local children to learn about their local military heritage.

Bathgate, West Lothian

Local and National Military Heritage

This educational booklet includes local military history as well as UK British Army Regiments.

Families of the Great War

Whitburn Remembers

Ancre Somme Association Scotland Charity is named after the Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, France. Our aim is to educate young people about our British Armed Forces heritage from WW1 and WW2 to the present day. We remember all those who have paid the supreme sacrifice for our Sovereign and Nation – past, present, and future. The Association received support from Heritage Lottery Fund in 2018 to support our ‘Whitburn Families of the Great War. About the Project: This project researched local stories about local families, purchased WW1 artifacts to use in schools and across the community. We taught young people how to research, present, and create a museum. We are grateful to everyone who has supported our Association and the schools during this project. Ancre Somme Association delivered the project in partnership with West Lothian Council Museums Service.



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Bathgate 75th VE Day & VJ Day 2020

Published by Bathgate Community Council with the generous support of the Ancre Somme Association Scotland Charity to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day and Victory in Japan Day – the culmination of which led to peace across the world. Sadly in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic struck the World and we were unable to Commemorate in public. We had to stay at home and Commemorate.

Copyright for this publication is reserved by Ancre Somme Association Scotland Charity SC048597

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23rd August

The Purple Poppy Day is the 23rd August. The purple poppy is a symbol of remembrance in the United Kingdom for animals that served during wartime.

Over 16 million animals served in the First World War. They were used for transport, communication and companionship. In 1914, both sides had large cavalry forces. Horse and camel-mounted troops were used in the desert campaigns throughout the war, but on the Western Front, new weapons like the machine gun made cavalry charges increasingly difficult.

However, animals remained a crucial part of the war effort. Horses, donkeys, mules, and camels carried food, water, ammunition, and medical supplies to men at the front, and dogs and pigeons carried messages. The canaries were used to detect poisonous gas, and cats and dogs were trained to hunt rats in the trenches.

Animals were not only used for work. Dogs, cats, and more unusual animals including monkeys, bears, and lions, were kept as pets and mascots to raise morale and provide comfort amidst the hardships of war.

l. 20,000 dogs serving Britain and her allies in WW1. Messenger dogs, mercy dogs, guard dogs, and mascots did their bit for King and Country. Stubby even warned of impending gas attacks. Dogs were the first domesticated animal and have been used in battle throughout history. The Roman Army had whole companies of dogs wearing spiked collars around their neck and ankles.

2. Pigeons have been used as message carriers for over 5,000 years. Their vital messages saved the lives of thousands in WWI and WW2. Cher Ami was given the Croix de Guerre for her heroic message delivery that saved many soldiers' lives, despite being shot at and terribly injured.

3. Humans began to domesticate horses in Central Asia around 4000 BC and they've been used in warfare for most of recorded history. They are prey animals and so their first reaction to threat is to startle and flee. Despite this, against their natural instincts, they've raced into countless battles, carrying their riders. Over eight million died in WW1.

4. From Simpson and his donkey at Gallipoli to Jimmy 'The Sergeant', born at The Battle of the Somme, donkeys have saved soldiers' lives and given their own. More suited to green fields than battlefields, donkeys have been to War for as long as horses have.

5. An estimated 500,000 cats served in World War I. In the trenches of the Western Front there were serious problems with rats. WWI cats also detected gas.

No animal chooses to go to war but their selfless acts of unconscious heroism show us how to be true heroes.

View our Purple Empire Poppy Range  


Purple Poppy

The Purple Poppy Remembers the sacrifice of millions of animals that have served our Nation, past, present, and future.


Remember the Animals

Horses, Donkey's, Mule's, Dog's, Cat's, Pigeon's and Elephants

Millon's of Animals died during WW1, and WW2 and some still serve the Nation today.

Our Purple Poppy

Remembering the Animals who served, past, present and future.

The first Purple Poppy Memorial in Scotland was unveiled at Uphall West Lothian by Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of West Lothian Ms Moira Niven MBE.



Remembrance is 365 day's a year. We must never forget those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for Sovereign and Nation from WW1, WW2 to the current day.


Lt Col Gary Tait MBE

Lest We Forget

We will always remember our dear friend Lt Col Gary Tait MBE, who was our Patron from 2016 until he passed away in 2019, age 52, after a brave battle against cancer. 


Our promise to Gary

Service Subitle

To continue engaging with schools, cadets forces, communities, Veteran's, Organisation's and our Armed Forces. Tell the factual story of the McCrae's Sporting Battalion. Alway's remember from WW1, WW2 to the current day.

"Nominated for Queen's Award Voluntary Service 2020"

John McAleese MM Memorial Day

26th August 2021

We created a fitting Memorial for the family, community, and friends of SAS National Hero.


Requesting Your Support

Make a Difference

One-Time Donation

We want to ensure our Armed Forces heritage is passed on to every generation, we want to keep creating Memorials and leave a legacy across the United Kingdom. Contact us to learn more about what we do with the donations we receive.


Annual Donation

If you feel moved by the causes ASA Scotland Charity promotes, we would very much appreciate your Annual support. Set up your donation to ASA Scotland Charity today. It’s easy and most importantly, it will ensure our Armed Forces history is never forgotten. Contact us today to learn more or click to donate now.

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