A SQUADDIE suffered a horrific beating at a gang of yobs as he walked back to his barracks on Saturday morning.
The 20-year-old private was knocked out and left with a broken nose and a fractured jaw after a savage attack by a group of men in the early hours of the morning.
Police said the gang set about the soldier – part of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland – as he returned to the Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik, Midlothian.
The vicious pack kicked and punched the serviceman – a chef attached to 2 Scots – to the ground where they beat him unconscious and left him for dead.
The attack happened on Loanburn Avenue, near the junction of Eastfield Drive – just a mile from the barracks which are home to the battalion, who look set to head to Afghanistan in the autumn.
A woman found the squaddie staggering to his feet and helped him back to his barracks before he was raced by ambulance to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment.
After being checked over for a broken nose and a fractured jaw he was left in the care of army medics and is said to be recovering at the barracks today.
A spokeswoman for the Army said: “We are assisting Lothian and Borders Police with any enquiries that we can and we are looking after the soldier involved.
“The welfare staff and medical staff are taking care of him, he has not returned to work but is back at the barracks.”
Lothian and Borders Police are now appealing for anyone who was in the area and witnessed the attack to come forward.
A spokesman for the force said: “This has been a horrendous and random attack on one individual by a large group that has resulted in serious injury to the victim.
“Anyone who was in the area and can assist us in identifying those responsible is asked to contact police immediately.
“We are particularly keen to speak to the woman who came to the man’s aid and would ask her to come forward to help with our enquiries.”
Only last month a man was jailed for stabbing a decorated soldier to death in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire.
Barry McGrory, 28, was convicted at the High Court of murdering 28-year-old Scots Guardsman Paul McGee on October 25 last year.
He had bravely tried to help a taxi driver who was being assaulted by the thug.