Remembering loyal old soldier Jake

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Tributes have been paid to a former soldier who served in the Army for 35 years before becoming a stalwart of Falkirk district’s remembrance events.

Jake Mutch died on October 4 aged 89 and seven months after the death of his wife Harleen.

He served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1948-84 and was awarded the MBE for services to recruiting in 1981.

Originally from Forres in Morayshire, he joined the Army as a 20-year-old and over the years rose through the ranks until he became a sergeant major in charge of around 120 men. Army life took him around the world, including spells in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, British Guyana, Berlin, Egypt, Singapore, Borneo, Aden and Kenya.

He joined the Grangemouth branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland a few years before leaving the armed services.

Jake also had a major role to play in Falkirk’s annual Festival of Remembrance. He was one of only three people to call the muster over more than 40 years, following Lieutenant Colonel George ‘Timber’ Wood.

However, in 2001 he decided to call it a day and handed over to the present incumbent, Captain Walter Stirling.

British Legion Scotland members turned out in force for Jake’s funeral on October 13 at St Mark’s Church, Stirling and Falkirk Crematorium.

Some of his ashes have been scattered at Stirling Castle, the Argylls regimental home, where for many years after leaving the regiment he worked in the museum greeting visitors from all over the world, as well as coming face-to-face with royalty on numerous occasions.

A tribute in the festival programme read: “Jake will be sorely missed by all who knew him. He was a gentleman, loyal and trustworthy, always ready for a smile, a witty quip, and words of encouragement and support.”

On the night Bo’ness and Carriden band also paid their tribute by dedicating the musical number The Thin Red Line to Jake.