I HAVE just read Hamish MacPherson’s article about Scot VCs who never saw their medals (November 12). He quotes David Starkey saying: “Today’s soldiers are volunteers. They do it because they like it and they get tremendously excited about it. And many of them enjoy killing”.

Having served in the Navy during the Falklands and spent half my time with the Army, that is rubbish. The vast majority join any of the services because they have come from backgrounds with few choices or/and to escape those backgrounds. I never found anyone who enjoyed killing. It’s not excitement – it’s escape from tedium, few choices and sometime abusive environments, the perennial easy breeding grounds for government’s bloody cannon fodder.

Each year at this time I wear my poppy; it is white. I have seen war, its horrors, its pointlessness and how they are fuelled by political elites for their gain.

Crìsdean Mac Fhearghais

READ MORE: The seven Scots who were posthumously given the Victoria Cross

I’VE just finished reading Hamish MacPherson’s excellent article on his selection of Scottish soldiers who were posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

I was completely unaware of the comments by David Starkey until I read that article. I agree entirely with Hamish MacPherson when he states that he finds those remarks offensive. I would go further. I find them utterly abhorrent.

I attended the Remembrance Service at our church on Sunday, where our minister emphasised the fact that we were not there to celebrate the war but to celebrate the end of the war and the subsequent peace that followed.

However, we also had a duty to remember the gallantry of those who fought to gain that peace and in particular those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their entire futures so the rest of us could have a future that we might be able to live peacefully. I’m very sure that none of them actually went to war with the intention of dying, but when courage was needed, they showed it so that we might benefit from it.

So, David Starkey would do well to remember that the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is not about war, but is about peace and the sacrifice that was made by others to give us the gift of that peace.

Charlie Kerr

GEORGE Hackett (Website comments, November 13) seems to have forgotten about our “ageing population”, many of whom well remember post-World War Two rationing, which went on until 1954. Food, clothing, shoes, fuel and transportation were all severely rationed – I remember my mother and grandmother dealing with the the endless ration books, and hand-me-down clothes.

As a very young child (born 1943), this all seemed normal. We were not left hungry, although many land-workers claim that they didn’t have enough as the diet was based on a sit-doon office worker’s needs. It was just a bit dull compared to the present day. No sweets, very little sugar etc. Drugs? Penicillin was just becoming available, and vaccinations were short: my younger sister and I both came down with measles.

Your correspondent should be aware, however that post-war Britain was impoverished: it had had to fight two world wars with a recession in the middle, and then repay lend-lease to the Americans, plus having to assist in the regeneration of formerly occupied Europe, including sending assistance to Germany.

Britain is now one of the richer economies in the world: stop wittering, and analyse the devious nonsense the “Breeks Doon and Bend Over” brigade are laying on us. Just WHAT do people believe The Union actually consists of?

Alison McAdam

I WAS extremely disappointed with the xenophobic tone of Michael Fry’s piece in Tuesday’s edition (Pity those trying to win the votes of Scotland’s farm communities, November 12). Between the “foie gras and frog legs-eating” French (sure, this is what the French choose to have on their family dinner table) and the “gullible foreigners” keen to live in remote parts of Scotland (fool them and their Scottish neighbours), his article sounded more like the rant of a bigoted old man, living in a urban Central Scotland bubble, than a piece worthy of The National.

READ MORE: Scottish farmers face a massacre in the next General Election

Michael Fry may have thought himself humorous, but he should reflect that in the current “anti-foreigner” Brexit Britain, pouring more stereotypical, xenophobic wood on the fire is really not helpful. We are told that Scotland post-independence is going to be a place that welcomes all who chose to contribute and make this beautiful country their home. If this is the case, this kind of tone should not be welcomed.

Carole Couper