Real lives: Davie Kerr was a historian, a poet and loved Scotland

David Kerr
David Kerr
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David Kerr, a building contractor and well-respected member of the West Lothian community, has died age 93.

Born in Armadale in 1919, and known to his friends as Davie, he began work in his father’s builders business. There, he served as a bricklayer, building some of the early council houses in Armadale.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Davie joined the Reconnaissance corps for officer training. He was then commissioned into the Gordon Highlanders but was wounded in the push into Germany.

It was at this time that David married his wife Annie Dowie. The couple went on to have four children: Gordon, Douglas, David and Mary.

Further into his career, Davie set up his own business. D Kerr Building Contractors became a well known business around West Lothian until it closed around four years ago.

Davie was well known for being a proud Scottish nationalist and joined the SNP party in 1948. He became a town councillor for the party from 1970-1975.

He was extremely well respected as a member of the SNP, and was renowned for being highly committed to Scottish independence and culture whilst being very community minded.

He was also heavily involved with Armadale Community Council.

Peter Johnston, leader of the SNP group at West Lothian Council, said: “I have known Davie for around 25 years – all the time I’ve been a councillor.

“He has made great contributions to community life and is going to be greatly missed”.

Another of Davie’s interests was writing poetry and books on local history. He was an active member of the History Society and he was famous in Armadale for his poetry.

His work to promote the Scots language and the quality of his poetry made him familiar across a wide section of the public. He even appeared on radio and television to discuss his work.

Independent councillor Stuart Borrowman knew Davie through his community work and said he always enjoyed his company.

He said: “Davie Kerr was one of the most intelligent, cultured and measured men I ever met.

“The last chat I had with him, we discussed a book we’d read on DNA and what that was telling us about the origin of Scottish people. Davie had had his DNA tested and this showed some ancestry in Antolia. This tickled him.

“I enjoyed every minute I spent in his company.”

Davie died peacefully at St John’s hospital in Livingston on Friday, January 25.