A Tayside veteran’s champion is urging people to be extra vigilant against the threat from Walter Mitty poppy sellers.
Black Watch veteran Provost Ronnie Proctor spoke out after an increasing number of reports about individuals selling unapproved counterfeit poppy merchandise.
Major Proctor’s Angus beat appears to have so far escaped the con artists, but he said he was shocked by the “new low” to which people are stooping.
The Kirriemuir and Dean Conservative councillor, said: “I have repeatedly warned about the negative impact of Walter Mitty characters who wear medals they haven’t earned and invent a military career.
“But selling counterfeit poppy merchandise is a new low that demonstrates that these people will not hesitate to make money on the backs of the heroism and sacrifice of others, and I suspect that little, if any of that cash will go the people who genuinely need it.”
“Every Remembrance Sunday is special, but this one is especially so at it marks 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of WW1.
“Each year, millions of poppies, hand assembled by ex-service men and women, as well as tens of thousands of wreaths, are distributed across Scotland, as people show their respect for the fallen.
“The Poppy appeal has a dual purpose, as it seeks to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country, and raise vital funds to help those who have been left disadvantaged by their time in service.
“All the money raised in Scotland, is spent in Scotland, supporting the armed forces community in a number of ways, including employment, mobility, housing and mental health.
“However, over recent years, there has been an increase in the number of poppy-related items for sale.
“The sale of these items may not benefit veterans at all, and I would ask people to buy their poppies from official PoppyScotland vendors, or if they do purchase non-standard poppies, for example with a regimental badge on it, that they still put small donation into an official collection tin.
“The fact is that the demand for support and services from PoppyScotland remains high, as the charity seeks to assist those who have served in more recent conflicts.
“People can be reassured that when they make a donation to PoppyScotland the money will be going to the right place, and funding excellent work which benefits so many people in communities right across Scotland.
“An enormous amount of work goes into organising the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal, which is the largest annual street collection in Scotland, and involves around 10,000 volunteer organisers and collectors, and I would like to pay tribute to those who give up their time to be part of what is a massive operation, organised of course with military precision!”