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Colonel Hugh Rose

Colonel Hugh Rose; born April 24, 1917, died February 4, 1997

HUGH Rose was born in Edinburgh, second son of a family of five, and was educated at Edinburgh Academy, then Harrow School in England.

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At the age of 18, he joined the family paint business, Craig & Rose in Leith, the fourth generation to do so. Craig & Rose is best known for having had the contract to supply paint for the Forth Bridge. It was also in 1935 that Hugh joined up with the 7th/9th (Highlanders) Battalion, the Royal Scots, as a territorial. Following in the footsteps of the ''Dandy Ninth'' rooted in the old Leith Volunteers, Hugh's involvement with the regiment was to be life-long. At the outbreak of war, the 7th/9th was mobilised, and in June 1940 was sent to Brittany as part of the 52nd Lowland Division, returning from Cherbourg after the evacuation of Dunkirk. Hugh then saw action in Holland and Germany, and as company commander led ''B'' Company in the attack on the Hotel Britannia, the German Garrison Headquarters at Flushing. For ''calculated coolness in a difficult operation'' he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the field by Field Marshal Montgomery. As second-in-command of the battalion, he led the 7th/9th through fierce fighting in the Reichwald Forest, in Rhineland. The army was Hugh Rose's abiding interest. In the post-war years, he played a significant role in re-establishing the territorial battalion at East Claremont Street, Edinburgh, and took over the command following the retirement of Colonel J G Dawson. In 1955 it was Colonel Rose who received the New Colours presented to the 7th/9th by their Colonel-in-Chief, Princess Mary, then Princess Royal. In December of that year he handed over command to Lt Col H G Shields, and became Deputy Commander of 155 Lowland (Infantry) Brigade as full colonel and senior territorial officer. He was awarded the CBE in 1975. Hugh's brothers, Walter and Murray, had both died during the war. Walter, transferred from the 7th/9th to the 2nd Battalion the Royal Scots, was killed during the Japanese attack on Hong Kong in 1941; Murray, who worked for ICI in Shanghai, died shortly after his release from prisoner-of-war camp in 1946. Hugh's other life-long commitment was Craig & Rose. He had joined the board at the age of 20, and 29 years later became chairman, retiring in 1993 as honorary president. As a member of one of Leith's distinguished commercial families, he became a member of the High Constabulary of the Port of Leith, holding various offices within that society, including that of Moderator in 1958. He also made a major commitment to the Company of Merchants of the City of Edinburgh, serving as assistant at the Master's Court from 1962 to 1965, during which period he was Vice-Convener for Daniel Stewart's College. He became Merchant Company Treasurer in 1970, then Master from 1972 to 1974. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh and from 1975 to 1976 served as president of the Paintmakers' Association. In 1963 Hugh Rose married Molly Simpson and their shared relaxation was fishing, although Hugh was always a keen golfer. Their home at Gullane, in East Lothian, was well-located for several of Scotland's top courses. A distinguished-looking, modest man, Hugh Rose was a well-loved and respected figure in both the professional and social circles of Edinburgh. With his wife Molly, who died in 1985, he was seen at all the capital's major occasions, and they are both much missed by friends and family. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 7, at the Canongate Church, Edinburgh, at 2.30pm.

RODDY MARTINE

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