Ancre Somme Association: Special Forces event to take place in Falkirk district

An event to thank the country’s often unknown heroes is planned for Falkirk district next month.

Friday, 29th July 2022, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 1st August 2022, 1:32 pm

It will mark the efforts of the Special Forces who carry out often top secret missions to protect the UK and its citizens.

Organised by the Ancre Somme Association (ASA), it will take place in Laurieston on Saturday, August 27 beginning with a parade at 1.45pm.

Last year the ASA unveiled a memorial to John Thomas McAleese who was among Special Air Service soldiers involved in ending the Iranian Embassy Siege in London in 1980.

Last year's unveiling of memorial bust honouring Laurieston SAS soldier John McAleese

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Born and brought up in the district, his career also saw him serve in the Falklands in 1982 and he received the Military Medal in 1988 for his service contribution in Northern Ireland.

However, it was his role in helping to end the siege for which he is best remembered.

Bonnybridge councillor William Buchanan, who is also the ASA president, gave details of the planned commemoration

The memorial bust to Special Forces serviceman John McAleese MM from Laurieston which was created by Denny artist Helen Runciman

He said: "This is an annual event to say thank you to our Special Forces, dating back to the formation of the Regiment during World War Two.

"Britain's Special Forces have protected our nation abroad and at home for decades. Their missions as we know are top secret, but when called upon these brave men will lay down their lives to protect our country and our people.

"We will always remember the bravery and success of Operation Nimrod, when 19 hostages were rescued in 1980 during the Iranian Embassy Siege.

"There is no doubt whatsoever that Britain's Elite Special Forces have saved hundreds of lives across the world and here in the United Kingdom over the years. We will remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice and their families."

Among those attending later this month will be HM Lord Lieutenant Alan Simpson who last year unveiled the memorial.

Veterans, cadets from all branches of the Armed Forces, politicians and the public are all invited to attend.

The event will begin with a parade from Dundas Street to the village’s war memorial and the McAleese memorial at Laurieston Cross, followed by a service of remembrance and some short speeches.