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In Memoriam: Roland John Dane

Roland John Dane, 7th Battalion, Black Watch

Roland Dane died on the 2nd February 2016 in his 91st year. He was a member of the 7th Battalion, Black Watch during WW2 and took part in all of the major action in north-west Europe from the D-day landings to the Rhine Crossing in March 1945. After completing his basic training at Queen’s Barracks in Perth he was posted to the 4th Battalion, Black Watch but was subsequently transferred to the 7th Battalion as a company carrier driver. His main role during the war was to carry ammunition to the front line. On leaving the forces, Roland settled back into civilian life when he met and married his wife, Joan, before re-enlisting and joining REME in the early 1950s for a few years where he learned to drive tanks and trained to be an electrician. On leaving the forces, he worked as an electrician, notably on the many power stations that were built in the 1950s and 1960s before moving to Banbury where he worked for a local firm for many years. When he was made redundant upon the collapse of the firm, he decided to work on his own for the remaining few years until his retirement. He married Joan in 1949 and they had three children – Laura, Malcolm and Jackie. Sadly, Joan died in 1996 after 47 years of happy marriage. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were his pride and joy and he could be relied upon to give help where needed. He also loved Scottish country dancing, astonishing those who knew him with his energy in dancing 2 -3 times a week until well into his eighties. He also loved gardening. In his later years, he became an active member of the British Legion, attending the remembrance services and collecting donations for the Poppy appeal. He was highly amused on one occasion when a young child spotted him wearing his bonnet and red hackle and thought he was Father Christmas. He joined the Black Watch Association in 2000 and was an active member, attending annual reunions and events in Perth on a regular basis. Whilst he took great pride in being a member of the Legion and the Association, he took a particular pride in attending the 65th (2009) and 70th (2014) anniversaries of the liberation of Vught in Holland, the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in LaRoche in the Ardennes (2015) and participating in the Taxi Charity's 'Return of the Liberators' trip (2015). He was constantly astonished and overwhelmed by the number of people who, even after 60 or 70 years, came up to him and thanked him for his role in liberating their country for them. Such was his optimism and love of life that he was already planning his 2016 visit to the Black Watch in Perth! He never saw himself as an old man and would often describe his fellow senior citizens, many of whom were younger than him, as “geriatrics who kept getting in the way”. He will be sorely missed by his family and his many friends.

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