On Friday we buried Sandy in his family town of Penicuik in Midlothian. Those who knew him were enriched by the experience; those who didn’t are unfortunate.
For those that were not aware of the cause of his passing Sandy had a successful operation on a brain tumour, however, inoperable secondary growths finally defeated him.
Although we did not see each other from 1964, when I left 13 Signal Regiment, until 2009 when we met again at Bangkok airport it could have been less than a week. Both he and Kay made us as welcome as if we had been family.
His friends came from across the globe to pay tribute to one of the most generous people you could meet and they in turn reflected this generosity of spirit.
The service was held at St Mungo’s Parish Church and was taken by Reverend Peter Taylor who, having served with Sandy in 9 Signal Regiment in the late ’60s, left the army to take holy orders. Not that the two events could possibly be connected.
His daughter Fiona read for us and son Alisdair gave the eulogy. Rarely have I heard such a perfect reflection of somebody’s life. No remorse; he reached out to everybody, and it was large congregation, with stories of events that had touched all our lives at some point in time.
Sandy was laid to rest in the Kirkhill cemetery with a piper in attendance. The weather was kind and the rain held off.
The family held the wake in the Craigienield House Hotel and an a personal note I would like to thank Kay and the family for inviting me and their friends for making me so welcome – a special note to Jim and Susan who introduced me round.
We moved to the family home from whence we eventually made our individual ways back to various points across the country.
A very moving day and a fitting tribute to a wonderful person.