“We will remember them”. We say it every Remembrance Day and, in that moment, we mean it but what about the wars that have been forgotten, the service that was never marked and those who served in unpopular wars?

However well we do to remember the sacrifice of the two world wars, it is worthwhile to reflect on all the conflicts and wars that have disappeared into the mists of time.

In late January 1872 Sergeant John Paterson died aged 82 at home in Old Kilpatrick. His obituary described him as “kindly and unaffected” yet most of his young life had been spent fighting wars across the world.

Born in Paisley at the end of the 18th century, John joined the Royal Horse Artillery when he was 16. In 1809, aged 20, he served in the disastrous Walcheren Campaign, a conflict with the Dutch.

He then fought in the American war of 1812 at the Siege of New Orleans. and the Peninsular War under the Duke of Wellington.

Paterson served for over 20 years until he was discharged from the Army in 1833.

He became a Chelsea Pensioner and received a pension for the rest of his life. On discharge in his mid-40s he married, had a family and became a weaver. His wife died before him, and he lived out his old age in Old Kilpatrick with his daughter.

Another old soldier, John Halkett (aka Hackett), was buried in Old Kilpatrick in 1915 with an honour guard provided by the 9th (Reserve) Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were quartered in Dumbarton, preparing to leave for yet another war.

John Halkett fought in Afghanistan, forever, it seems, a war zone. In August 1880 General Roberts took his best regiments (nearly 10,000 men) on a forced march from Kabul to Kandahar, 320 miles away to rescue British troops under siege.

John Halkett was there and along with his comrades, was awarded the Kabul to Kandahar Star. Joe Harkins, 31, from Gordon Street, Clydebank (destroyed in the Blitz), arrived in Spain at the end of November 1937 to join the XV International Brigade, a group of English-speaking volunteers committed to defeating fascism. Joe, a Communist Party member, and trades unionist, left Clydebank to aid the effort.

He died in May the following year in Gandesa, Catalonia. His body was never recovered.

He is remembered on the Spanish Civil War Roll of Honour.