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Group Captain Alexander 'Sandy' Duguid MA RAF

the RAF Benevolent Fund
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Remembered by: Martin Duguid

Date added: 11 Nov 2016

Sandy Duguid first joined the RAF in 1943 when he postponed his university studies to volunteer.  He was mustered  in the Intelligence Branch and upon completing a Japanese course at The School of Oriental Studies in London in 1944 was posted to Australia.  He was attached to the RAAF where he was trained in wireless communications before being sent to the Philippines to gather intelligence from Japanese radio messages.

He returned to the UK towards the end of 1945 and was demobbed in 1946.  He recommenced his university studies at Aberdeen that year and importantly he married his forces sweetheart Eileen at Glenbervie, Kincardineshire.  To supplement his student grant he worked as a bus conductor for the Alexanders Bus Company and played jazz piano at clubs and hotels in the Aberdeen area.  His talents as a jazz musician played a prominent part in both his RAF and private lives!  He graduated with an honours degree in English in 1947 and completed his teaching diploma in the following year.  He taught in the Aberdeen area for 3 years during which time he and Eileen had their first two children Martin and Philippa. Sandy rejoined the RAF in 1951 on a short service commission in the Education Branch.  Postings thereafter included RAF Jurby in the Isle of Man where he was a flight commander at the Initial Officers' Training School and RAF Leuchars as a Junior Education Officer.  On demob he returned to Aberdeen and taught in the English Department at Inverurie Academy from 1958-61.

However, the love of the RAF - and the more attractive salary - saw Sandy rejoin the RAF in 1962.  This time he was awarded a permanent commission in the Education Branch and enjoyed a colourful and successful career rising to the rank of Group Captain before retiring in 1980.

Postings included: JEdO RAF Boscombe Down where I recall  him setting up a magnificent display of model aircraft and a wonderful model railway club. He was SEdO RAF El Adem in Libya, where his musical talents saw him running a Glee Club and directing musicals, SEdO RAF Chivenor, Staff Officer HQ Air Support Command RAF Upavon, RAF Upwood where he set up and ran the RAF Resettlement Team, OC School of Education RAF Newton, Command Ed O HQ NEAF RAF Episcopi, Cyprus where he was director of the evacuation of British families during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.  His final appointment was as Deputy Director of Physical Education in MOD Adastral House.  Though an out of branch appointment, it was a responsibility he relished as he had always been a keen athlete.  As a teenager he was champion middle distance runner at Robert Gordon's College and a full athletics blue at Aberdeen University.  Throughout his RAF career he played representative tennis, table tennis and cricket.  Until the year he died he was still playing golf at Kemnay Golf Club.

As a result of his experience in Education he was appointed Examinations Director by Pitmans Publications in 1980 and continued in post after their take over by Pearsons in 1986.

Sandy was an enthusiast in all he did - and he did so much! His sporting participation has already been mentioned but he was an avid spectator too.  He was a great student of football and cricket and, being an Aberdonian, an ardent Dons fan!  

Cricket, Golf, bridge, choirmaster Kemnay Church

Prominent in local jazz scene

1938 Dux Woodside School, Aberdeen

1939 Scholarship to Robert Gordon's College

Died in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire 13 Apr 2009 aged 84.

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