A member of Carnoustie branch has celebrated his 91st birthday in style, just months after he led the town’s Remembrance Parade. Ian Smart has been a lifelong member of Legion Scotland and, according to his son Gordon, it’s been a great place for him to share stories and meet up with friends.

Gordon told Legion Scotland of his pride in his father, particularly around the parade last year. Ian previously served in the Black Watch, based in both Perth and Fort George, and later in Korea during the Korean War. Sometimes called the ‘Forgotten War’ due to it being overshadowed by the Second World War before it and the Vietnam War after it, the Korean War was primarily fought between South and North Korea. However, nearly 60,000 British troops saw action in Korea during the war, with 1,100 killed.

 During his service, Ian took on a secretive and highly accredited position. As a mandatory element of this role, Ian was required to remove any personal dog tags, so throughout the conflict his family was uncertain as to where he was operating and whether he was still alive.

 Thankfully, Ian survived and upon his return in 1954, found new comrades in the Carnoustie branch of Legion Scotland. Gordon says, “First and foremost dad enjoys the company of other members, both for company and storytelling. He also enjoys spending time in the Legion Scotland club playing dominoes, which he has missed massively because of the pandemic.”

Ian’s involvement in the branch continues to this day and was highlighted when he led the Remembrance Parade last year. The club even featured in Ian’s big birthday day.

 “I planned for our family to come along for a surprise visit at a local hotel for a nice meal, and then we went along to the Legion Scotland branch,” Gordon said. “My dad hadn’t seen my cousin for 42 years, so that was a nice surprise.” The family was also joined by Ian’s grandson, Aaron, and his partner, who travelled up from Oxford.