Markinch couple raise funds for PoppyScotland 1918 appeal

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A Markinch husband and wife have helped raise £1918 each for a PoppyScotland appeal.

Suzi and Paul Hamilton presented the two cheques to PoppyScotland head of fundraising Gordon Michie this week, after the pair completed the 1918 Poppy Pledge, marking the centenary of the end of World War I.

Suzi and Paul, owners of local business Ottersburn Wood, raised funds for one of the cheques by holding book sales and raffles, and selling off their hand-made wooden items. The other £1918 was raised with the help of Lodge Balgonie.

Suzi’s great-grandfather served during World War I, while her grandfather fought in World War II. Her grandmother’s cousin, James Swain, died in 1945, when his plane was shot down during a mission over Germany.

James, just 20-years-old, was buried at the Heerstrasse War Cemetery in Berlin.

Suzi said: “This has been an extremely challenging time, but as a family we are proud to have raised £1918 for PoppyScotland.”

Paul was inspired by raise the funds in memory of his grandfather, John Hislop, who was a Normandy veteran.

John, an award-winning wood turner and “master craftsman”, served during World War II, landing on Sword Beach.

During the landing, a hand grenade exploded next to him.

A piece of shrapnel left a hole in John’s neck.

He spent a year in hospital, undergoing extensive surgery, at the end of which he was deaf.

“This year is important to PoppyScotland as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice,” explained Mr Michie.

“To help commemorate that we came up with the concept of the 1918 Poppy Pledge. We launched it last year, giving businesses, people, schools a year to raise £1918.

“That money will be used by PoppyScotland to today to assist with our life-changing work with the armed forces community.

“Although we’re commemorating the centenary of the Armistice, the money raised will help our welfare provision in 2018.”

160 people have taken on the pledge, helping to raise an extra £300,000 for PoppyScotland.