IT was hearing the U2 anthem Sunday Bloody Sunday on a pub jukebox which finally pushed Calum MacLeod over the edge and finally forced him to confront the demons which had plagued him since he had been taken hostage while a serving soldier in Northern Ireland.

“Suddenly I was back there,” he says. “I just lost it. I was arrested after hitting two policemen in the bar.

“I was admitted to a mental hospital and I stayed there for six months.

“During that period I tried to escape three times. It wasn’t easy to admit there was something wrong, but I came to realise that I had a real problem.’’

That problem could have driven MacLeod to the grave. Hundreds of former soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have killed themselves.

But MacLeod, now 52, opted instead to found a charity to help those who, like himself, were finding it hard to cope with the terrible experiences they had suffered while in the armed forces.

It was in Northern Ireland in 1992 that he had been taken hostage during a riot.

He would have been shot dead by his captors had the gun they seized from him not malfunctioned.

Instead they slammed his head into a concrete slab and left him unconscious. His next memory was of a hospital room.

“At the time I just wanted to return to the job,” he says. “But two or three years later I began to have nightmares and experiencing flashbacks. I head replaying it in my head.

“I became violent and my temper would just flare up.”

He received support from the charity Combat Stress and has been prescribed permanent medication. But still he felt his life was on a downward spiral.

He set up the charity Who Dares Cares with a former member of the SAS Colin Maclachlan, who survived his own horror story.

Taken prisoner in the Iraqi city of Basra, Maclachlan was handcuffed, thrown in a cell, badly beaten and subjected to mock executions.

MacLeod and Maclachlan found themselves talking to veterans they met and on social media who were experiencing severe problems. An increasing number were taking their own lives.

Who Dares Cares aims to bring veterans together to share experiences and to gain strength from the company of others who have been through similar terrors.

“There was no charity doing what we are now doing,” said MacLeod. “We are bringing people together and letting them talk over a brew. Many were really struggling.”

Most of those helped by the charity are former armed forces personnel but it also reaches out to members of the emergency services.

Its Facebook page has attracted more than 5000 likes and messages of support, including one from former Rangers player Nacho Novo.

More than 20 walkers will march from Edinburgh to Glasgow this weekend to raise awareness of Who Dares Cares and the work the charity does.

Anyone willing to join the walk can still take part. It leaves Lochrin Basin in Edinburgh at 8am and ends at Bowling Harbour on Sunday around lunch time.

Even if you don’t fancy taking part in the walk itself you can still support the effort at