Former soldier, 78, who alleges he was attacked at Gaza protest 'is a veteran of Operation Banner in Northern Ireland'

Protestors against the Israeli siege of Gaza at Waverley Station in Edinburgh on Saturday (footage from BBC)
Protestors against the Israeli siege of Gaza at Waverley Station in Edinburgh on Saturday (footage from BBC)

​Police are looking into the incident in Edinburgh at the weekend, when Jim Henderson says he was punched while standing at a Royal British Legion poppy stall.

Mr Henderson told the Daily Mail he had served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles with the Royal Corps of Signals, 32 Signal Regiment.

Aged 78, he told the paper: “I was getting shoved backwards, in danger of falling, and one of them stood on my foot and split my toe.

“So I thought I had got to get the money out of here. So I went down, and as I bent down someone punched me in the back. And then I got another punch in my side.

“I’ve never known anything like it,’ he said.

“Chanting. Saying it’s all about the British Government, British people, Jews.

“You don’t do that, and kick someone from behind and that was when I couldn’t get out of the way. That’s when I bent down and… bang.”

The alleged attack happened at Waverley Station in Edinburgh on Saturday.

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said: "We are working with ScotRail regarding the investigation."

The Royal Signals Museum gives an account of the corps’ time in Northern Ireland, saying “at its peak in 1972, the Army’s strength in Northern Ireland was 28,000 [and] the Corps was the second largest element in the security force, after the infantry".

It adds: “The Corps provided communications for commanders and staff at brigade and theatre level, as well as the infrastructure to enable patrols on the ground to communicate with each other and with higher and lower commands.

"They also provided Rear Link Detachments (RLD) and support to specialist units such as bomb disposal teams, guards at the Magilligan and Maze prisons and squadrons in the infantry role…

"The Corps lost 16 soldiers to terrorist action and a further 20 soldiers to other causes.”