Today is the 22nd anniversary of the death of my father Robert Strachan, known as Bob. I thought it would be good to remember him by posting some photos.
My father was born in Cambuslang in 1916, the youngest child of Henry Strachan and Helen McCrae. Henry died three days before my father’s second birthday, so my father had no memory of him. Several of his older brothers and siblings migrated to Canada in the 1920s, so young Robert went to and fro between Canada and Scotland with his mother a few times.
My father was a keen musician, played the trumpet and trombone, and had a good singing voice. He learnt to play courtesy of the Salvation Army in Cambuslang, was in a dance band and the army band during the war, and once settled in Leeds formed a band that played big band and jazz at dances and pubs in north Leeds, including the Kirkstall Working Men’s Club where my grandfather was president.
Robert married his first wife just before the war, and almost immediately was called up into the army. By then he had begun a career in the construction industry. In the army, he was promoted to corporal and then sergeant, and became an ammunitions testing expert working at an underground depot near Corsham, Wiltshire. My big sister was born during the war, but her mother came down with tuberculosis and died when my sister was very young.
He also played in the army band, and was in the Ralph Stacey dance band playing at forces dances in the south of England. They were even on the radio.
Later on in the the war, Dorothy Fraser from Leeds, in the women’s army, was posted to Corsham and my parents met at an army dance. My mother was already a very good dancer but my father wasn’t, so she taught him and romance blossomed. They married in 1949 and settled in Leeds.
My father continued to work in construction after the war, eventually becoming a project manager for buildings such as hospitals and shopping centres.
He was always a proud father of both his daughters, as this picture shows.
You never stop missing your parents.