Obituary: Bob Henderson

Bob Henderson served in the Second World War. Picture: contributed

Bob Henderson served in the Second World War. Picture: contributed

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BOB Henderson, a well-known butcher who was wounded in the Second World war, has died.

Not only was the Linlithgow man a butcher and a slaughterman – but he was also a ballroom dancer, curler and a parachutist.

Robert was the third of seven children.

Friends and neighbours said he had always been an enthusiastic ballroom dancer. In fact, it was whilst dancing that he met his wife to be, Elizabeth MacKenzie, from Winchburgh.

The couple were married on May 11, 1940 in Winchburgh.

Yet like so many, their romance was cut short by the drums of war.

In 1940, Bob enlisted in the British army. He was posted to the 5th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The unit saw plenty of action after being shipped to France with the 2nd British Expeditionary Force.

However, he didn’t remain in Europe for long.

Following the evacuation of Dunkirk, Bob retrained as a parachutist.

Whilst home, Bob and Elizabeth were able to start a family, welcoming son Robert into the world in 1942.

But Bob’s war days were far from over.

He was eventually posted to North Africa, and was once more deployed abroad in January 1943.

In February of that year, Bob was seriously wounded in battle. He was taken to hospital in Algiers.

But shortly after arriving, the hospital came under attack, too.

The building was bombed to bits, and he woke up amongst the dead in the morgue.

Following his discharge, Bob returned home to Elizabeth – whom friends referred to as Betty.

The pair were able to pick up where they left off, and decided to take son Robert and move to Grangepans.

There, the happy family thrived.

Bob and Betty had four more children: Kenny, Janette, Jim, Rachel and Andrew.

By then, Bob had taken over the slaughtering contract at Linlithgow abattoir. That was in 1947. He remained there until he finally chose to retire in 1980.

In his latter years, Bob enjoyed a number of leisure pursuits.

He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Linlithgow and Bo’ness, and took great pride in civic engagement.

He was also somewhat of a sporting man, being an active member of the Linlithgow and Bo’ness Curling Club.

Cars were also a great passion, as was food.

Remembered as a kind and gentle father, Bob was grandfather to 14 grandchildren, and a great-grandfather to 16 children.

Bob spent his final years in St Michael’s Hospital, before finally passing away peacefully on August 5, 2014.