A SCOTS Army veteran is urging his former comrades and supporters to sign a parliamentary petition calling for the UK Government to issue them with ID cards, which they had been promised in 2018.

William Findlay enlisted in 1967 and was trained at the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion (IJLB) Oswestry, in Shropshire, before moving to the then Pirbright Guards Depot and joining the regiment at Windsor in 1969, when the 2nd Battalion returned from Germany.

“I served some days in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the Troubles, then went to British Honduras, now Belize for a six-month tour whilst in suspended animation,” said the 69-year-old, from Borgue, Kirkcudbrightshire.

“I came back to Caterham in Surrey and was compassionately discharged at Edinburgh after spending four years 296 days.

“My certificate of transfer to the Army Reserve is still active as I have nothing to say that I have been discharged.”

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Findlay said veterans had been waiting since 2018, but the Government said in March last year that while service leavers had received a “recognition card” as part of their discharge, the second phase of the roll-out had been delayed.

“We had hoped to have this in place by the end of 2019, but due to the requirement to future-proof the scheme so that veterans can access a wider range of benefits, the need to safeguard against fraudulent use means this process will take longer,” said an update on the UK Government website.

“Information on how to apply will be released closer to the launch date.”

Leo Docherty, Under-Secretary for Defence People and Veterans, said in a Commons written answer in March: “A veteran does not require a recognition or ID card to prove their status and access vetera- related services or discounts. There are a number of ways that Service can be verified, and the lack of a recognition or ID card should not act as a barrier.”

Findlay told The National the second phase of the roll-out had been delayed by the General Election, and the petition - which can be found here - was only running to March 21.

It reads: “We understand there is a focus on fraud prevention however this can be resolved easily with asking the right questions such as service number, DOB etc.

“There are too many ex-service personnel without an issued ID card.

“How is it possible that we can request military documents and medical records with just a few details but can't put a similar process in place for an ID card?”

So far, the petition has been signed by more than 6600 people.

“I believe there is an issue with the security of the cards, but as we get older there are less and less forms of ID we have in our possession – ie driving licence, or passport,” said Findlay.

“Now that the government are wanting everyone to have some sort of ID to vote this is a great concern.

“I feel that us older generation will be phased out of the voting by stealth or because not everyone knows that to be a veteran we have to have served one day and been paid for that, but this also concerns the family of the same.”