THE 20th anniversary of the war in Iraq will be marked at an event in Helensburgh next week – featuring Advertiser columnist and local author Mike Edwards.

Mike will be holding a reading from his latest book and a discussion in Helensburgh Library on Thursday, March 9 to mark the 20th anniversary of the war in Iraq, in which he served as an Army reservist.

Mike, who was a newspaper, radio and TV reporter for 40 years, is still a Major in the Army Reserve and was mobilised for an operational tour of duty in Iraq in 2003.

“My third book, ‘You’re Seeing It!’, catalogues all my experiences and emotions from the war 20 years ago,” said the 57-year-old, who lives in Rhu, “particularly coming under enemy fire and reaching Saddam Hussein’s River Palace in Basra.

“Helensburgh is a military town and there will be many people who live here who will share the things I went through.

“It would be great to chat to them on the night and swing the lantern – the military term for telling tales.”

Mike retired after 26 years as a reporter with STV news in 2019 to care for his elderly mother, Margaret, who was living with a diagnosis of dementia. She died a year later.

Proceeds from “You’re Seeing It!” will go towards setting up Mike’s own dementia charity, which will campaign to have heading banned from football.

“It’s shaping up to be a great event,” said Fiona Sharkey, Helensburgh’s senior library assistant.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Mike and hearing him read passages from his book and learning about his experiences 20 years ago.”

Mike, who is a trustee of the Erskine veterans’ charity and a deputy lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, added: “It will be great to welcome guests on the night for a drink and a chat, but if you can’t make it, contact my agent at and he will arrange for a signed copy of the book to be sent to you.”

Mike was named veteran of the year in 2022 and was awarded the OBE for public and charitable service in Her Majesty the Queens’ Platinum Jubilee Birthday Honours list.

The event at the library on West King Street next Thursday starts at 7pm.