Obituary – Chief Ramsay Hannay

Ramsay William Rainsford Hannay
Born 15 June 1911 – Conoor, India
Died 10 January 2004 – Gatehouse-of-Fleet, Scotland

Ramsay W. Rainsford Hannay was born in India where his father was serving in the army, but returned as a child to Edinburgh during the First World War. He was subsequently educated at Winchester College where he rowed for his school, as he did for Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read law.

At the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Highland Light Infantry but was seconded to Special Operations where he trained personnel in Canada and the UK for action behind enemy lines in Europe. He was in Paris for the liberation of France, and in Berlin before the Russian Army arrived. After the war he worked in the legal department of the Board of Trade under Harold Wilson and Edward Heath, before taking early retirement to manage the family estate in Galloway, where he established a successful caravan holiday park.

Ramsay Hannay was a founder member of the Clan Hannay Society in 1960 and subsequently became its first Chief. The Hannay, Hannah, Hanna and Hanneys originated from Sorbie in Wigtownshire. Sorbie Tower was donated to the Clan Hannay Society in 1965, since when there have been annual Clan Gatherings and a growing international membership. Ramsay Hannay was a member of the Council of Chiefs and travelled widely to Clan functions, especially in North America. He took a great interest in Clan Members who were always made welcome when they visited Galloway.

A man of integrity with a strong sense of humour, and a natural concern for others, his advice was widely sought. He was an Honorary Sheriff and continued his own father’s involvement with Scouting, being President of the Galloway Area Scout Council, and with Dry Stone Walling, being a founder member of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain and at one time its President. He was also a founding chairman of the South West Holiday Parks Association, President of the Gatehouse Festival Group, and a Trustee of Carsluith Village Hall.

In 1936 he married Margaret Wiseman, who predeceased him, and is survived by a daughter and son, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. After a well attended Service of Thanksgiving at Kirkmabreck Parish Church, Creetown, he was buried in the old churchyard above Kirkdale House, his family home.

Obituary by Dr. David Hannay

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