Sinking the Bismarck

July 29, 2014

One of the most significant victories at sea of World War II was the sinking of the iconic German battleship the Bismarck on the morning of May 27, 1941.  Just days earlier she had sunk the pride of the British fleet, HMS Hood, killing all but three of more than 1400 crew and Churchill gave orders that […]

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Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s daughter and other remarkable women

June 20, 2014

Occasionally in life you come across a remarkable woman from a different era, a pioneering spirit who epitomised a can-do generation who got as much out of life as they possibly could. An occupational hazard of an obituarist’s trade is never getting get the chance to meet them – the compensation is the  opportunity to […]

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D-Day Heroes Remembered

June 6, 2014

It’s always an absolute privilege to record the experiences of our World War II veterans, particularly the D-Day heroes who risked their lives 70 years ago for our liberty today. Remembering two of them today – Tom Duncan and Paul Galbraith – whose stories are amongst the Military Obituaries under Latest Obits on www.wonderfullife.org.uk  

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A Quiet Philanthropist

June 3, 2014

Georgina Scott Sutherland went from virtually penniless wartime refugee to the wife of one of Scotland’s most successful and philanthropic businessmen, Thomas Scott Sutherland. Later, as the widow of the generous benefactor, whose donations created the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, she continued to quietly foster his spirit of charitable service in her own right, […]

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Famous names hidden in family history

May 30, 2014

Dig deep enough into your family history and you could discover a link, albeit a tenuous one, to a famous face. It’s not often, however, that a family’s heritage is connected so intimately to two of the most instantly identifiable names of the 20th century – the von Trapps and the Kennedys.   Hazel Heaton-Armstrong’s […]

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The Great Escape 70th Anniversary

March 24, 2014

Tonight marks the 70th anniversary of  the most audacious breakout from a German Prisoner of War camp – an inspirational feat of ingenuity, skill and endurance. The Great Escape saw 76 airmen scramble their way to freedom through a tunnel, painstakingly dug out of soft sand 30ft under Stalag Luft III in Poland, and nicknamed […]

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A survival story

January 28, 2014

As we prepare to mark the start of the Great War later this year, just a small glimpse of what life was like only a generation later for one of the millions who suffered under Nazi rule in occupied Poland during World War II. Zygmunt Potrykus was still a boy when he fled his homeland […]

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Eric Auld Artist

January 3, 2014

The funeral of artist Eric Auld was taking place today, on what would have been his 83rd birthday. Best known for his distinctive composite images of Aberdeen landmarks, his 60-year career  evolved from Gray’s School of Art, to the pioneering days of the ABBO group with fellow artists Bill Baxter, Donald Buyers and Bill Ord […]

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The Lovat Scouts

December 26, 2013

Donald John MacPherson was one of the very last of the Lovat Scouts,  a fearless band of young soldiers who lived by the motto Je Suis Prest – I Am Ready. Drawn from the Highlands and Islands, they were recruited by Lord Lovat for their field skills, tracking and stalking expertise – all vital for […]

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A Polish Paratrooper’s Story

December 9, 2013

The strength of the human spirit in adversity is epitomised in the life of retired Fife tailor Michael Czeredrecki who, as a young man, endured both exile in a Siberian gulag and imprisonment in a German stalag during World War II. Between his incarcerations he arrived in Scotland and joined the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade, […]

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