Obituary: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie Brown MBE, 96

John McInnes
John McInnes
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LIEUTENANT Colonel Andrew Wilkie Brown MBE, a soldier and musician, has died, aged 96.

Mr Brown was born into a musical family in Edinburgh in a Stockbridge tenement. A pupil at Flora Stevenson’s School in Comely Bank, he also joined the choir school at St Mary’s Cathedral where he became lead soprano soloist. He also played the piano and the organ, and at 16 he was playing piano in a jazz band.

Lt Col Andrew Brown saw the world during his time in the army

Lt Col Andrew Brown saw the world during his time in the army

Initially employed as a clerk after leaving school, in 1933 he joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders as a pianist, where he also took up the French horn.

Tours around the UK and Europe followed until the Second World War intervened and he sailed for Palestine with the regiment’s 1st Battalion.

They were sent to Egypt in September 1940, going into action against the Italians at Sidi Barrani, where he was famously photographed escorting a column of 2000 captured Italian soldiers across the desert.

He travelled extensively during the remainder of the war to Eritrea, Abyssinia, Sudan, Sicily and Italy, and progressed through the ranks, being commissioned as a quartermaster in 1944. After victory, he went on to serve in Malaya and Korea and was made an MBE in 1952. Later, while stationed in Hong Kong, he met and married his wife Peggy Griffiths, a Navy nursing sister.

He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and served in British Guyana, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, retiring from the army in 1970. He settled with his family in Aberdeen.

Before he died, Mr Brown lost his wife Peggy and his grandson Jake but he is survived by his daughters, Fiona and Avril, and grandchildren Janine, Lloyd and Joanne.

SHERRIFF principal John McInnes, one of Scotland’s leading lawyers and criminal justice reformers, has died aged 72.

The son of a respected solicitor from Cupar, Mr McInnes attended Cargilfield prep school and then Merchiston Castle, both in Edinburgh.

He read law at Brasenose College, Oxford, and then at Edinburgh University. Mr McInnes did his national service from 1956-58 with the Royal Tank Regiment, rising to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. In the 1960s, Mr McInnes was a law tutor at Edinburgh University and contested Aberdeen North as a Conservative in 1964. He was called to the Bar in 1963 and became a sheriff in 1973 – at first with Lothians and Peebles, then with Tayside Central and Fife (1974-2000).

He was appointed sheriff principal for South Strathclyde, Dumfries and Galloway in 2000 and held the post for six years. Mr McInnes brought his legal expertise and keen interest in social affairs to the position.

John McInnes married Elisabeth Neilson in 1966. She and their son and daughter survive him.