Born: January 21, 1946;

Died: August 20, 2019

SANDY Marshall Le Pla, who has died aged 73, dedicated much of her life to nursing, with her numerous adventures including a career in the army, running a canal boat restaurant, and politics.

Born in 1946 to James Fraser and his wife Margaret Fairbairn, she grew up in Graham Street, Wishaw, alongside her brother John, living beside the family joiners’ business. She embarked on a career as a nurse, training at Glasgow’s Victoria Hospital, and upon qualification in 1967 joined the army to see more of the world. She signed up to the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) and her first posting as lieutenant was to Hong Kong, where she spent a number of years enjoying the social life and the opportunity to travel round Asia.

She returned to the UK in 1971, by which time she had been promoted to Captain. At the military hospital at Aldershot, where she acted as adjutant, Sandy attempted to orchestrate a passing-out parade for female officers similar to one which took place for male officers at Sandhurst. Her plot to ride a white horse up the steps of the headquarters might have been unsuccessful, but it showed her sense of humour and commitment to equal rights.

Her work was, of course, also highly demanding; her involvement in tending the victims of the Guildford pub bombings in 1974 had a profound impact on her.

Sandy left the army in 1976 to concentrate on nursing, and returned to Glasgow, where she nursed before working at Middlesex Hospital in London. In 1981, she married Patrick La Pla, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy. They were married for 15 years, initially living in a flat overlooking Hyde Park in the capital.

When Pat was posted to Scotland, they returned to live in a cottage in Kirkintilloch on the banks of the canal. When Pat came out of the Navy a few years later they set up a floating restaurant on a canal boat. The Lady Margaret sailed for a number of years and the skills Sandy had picked up from a Cordon Bleu cookery course in London were put to good use.

After the boat was sold, Sandy returned to nursing once more, first at Monklands Hospital, Lanarkshire, then at Falkirk hospital, where she was the senior night officer until her retiral in 1995. She had a number on interests which continued to keep her busy, including the Forth & Clyde Canal Society, of which she was a leading light. Another big interest was politics: as a long-term member of the Scottish Conservative Party she was asked to stand in 1999 as a local councillor. She was reluctant to take the role on, to the point where she voted Liberal Democrat in that election, and was relieved when she was not elected.

Sandy had a strong sense of duty and a desire to care for people. Hugely entertaining, she loved to tell anecdotes and stories, particularly of her Army days, and relished good food, drink and company. She died after a short illness, spending her last couple of weeks in St Andrews Hospice in Airdrie. She is survived by her cousins Elizabeth McVicar, Euan McVicar, Stuart McVicar, Elspeth Franklin, Liz Gibb, Christine Macdonald, Dennis Watney and Jean Marlborough-Fletcher.