LARGS veteran Jack Ransom says it was ‘a real honour’ to lay a wreath at the national service of Remembrance in Edinburgh alongside the country's First Minister.

The 101-year-old, who survived building the Burma Railway after his capture by the Japanese in 1942, was invited to the service at the city chambers to represent all veterans in Scotland.

Jack says he received the VIP treatment after being picked up by car from his home in Largs and whisked to Edinburgh for the ceremony.

He explained: “I was invited to lay a wreath on behalf of all veterans which was a huge honour - but I don’t know why they picked me!

“I met with the president of the Royal British Legion for Scotland, Sir Alistair Irwin, and we laid our wreaths together.

“I had to get a bit of help because I’m a bit unsteady on my feet, but it was still a real privilege to lay the wreath.

“I also had some interviews with the BBC and STV so by the time I got home to Largs, I was shattered.”

Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack were among those who took part in the proceedings on the Royal Mile.

Jack says meeting the First Minister was an exciting moment, and told how he got to give her a copy of his book.

He said: “I got to meet all the notable people, including Ms Sturgeon, who was very charming when we talked.

“I offered her a copy of my book and she accepted it. She said she knew all about me and my story.

“All the media attention is lovely, but being there to represent the forces was what it was all about.”

The Largs veteran, who is also in the town’s Royal British Legion branch, is already looking ahead to another big milestone in February.

He explained: “February 15 will mark the 80th anniversary of the Surrender of Singapore.

“That is where all the British and Australians went into Japanese captivity and the railway of death was started between Thailand and Myanmar.

“It is a big anniversary for those of us who experienced that and I’m sure it will get a lot of coverage across the country.”