Obituary: Charlie McInroy, 94

Charles McInroy. Picture: comp
Charles McInroy. Picture: comp
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War veteran Charlie McInroy, a North Berwick community stalwart and popular member of literary society the Order of the Monks of St Giles, has died aged 94.

He grew up in Birnam, and Highland Perthshire remained close to his heart throughout his life.

During this time he developed a love of writing witty verse, which became a life-long source of pleasure to both him and others.

He was educated at Loretto School, Musselburgh, and had many happy memories of his school days.

During the Second World War he served as a captain with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment in North Africa and through Italy.

Returning to the Capital, he was a keen member of the Edinburgh Sports Club, and played rugby for Edinburgh Wanderers. He then met and married Bunty, whom he described as “the fountain of all his blessings”. They had four children – Rory, Alison, Torquil and Nonie.

For many years, Mr McInroy worked as staff manager for the Scottish Equitable Life Assurance Society, and wrote a history of the firm for its 150th anniversary celebrations.

After retiring, he went back to work for another decade to manage The Queen’s Nursing Institute. He rationalised their assets, selling off unused property and setting up active scholarships in district nursing studies, night nursing schemes, and establishing suitable pensions and support for retired nurses – all valuable work which he found very fulfilling and enjoyable.

A move to North Berwick in 1965 established a new phase in his life, where he became a well-liked figure in the community, serving as captain of North Berwick Golf Club, a “secret weapon” for Marmion Bridge Club and treasurer of St Baldred’s Church.

He found endless opportunities to hone his verse-writing skills when he achieving a long-held ambition to be ordained into Edinburgh literary and dining society, the Order of the Monks of St Giles. He wrote a history of the Order from 1952 to 2002.

Throughout his life, his family was always his priority, and he was devoted not only to his children and grandchildren, but also his many cousins, nieces and nephews and their children, for whom he became a “pater familias” as his siblings passed away. For 20 years he hosted an annual family gathering, which came to be the highlight of his year.

In his eighth decade, having been presented with his first computer, he started work on his “magnum opus” – an ambitious memoir encompassing all aspects of his life, as well as research into family genealogy over 250 years.

Entitled One Ordinary Life And Its Scottish Roots, it was completed in his 91st year, and sets the family history against a wider historical background. Mr McInroy’s good humour and kind nature touched everyone around him. He died peacefully at Roodlands Hospital surrounded by family members.