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Unsung Hero of Balallan

Unsung Hero of Balallan

The following anecdote was related to Mary Evans, Balallan by Annie Macleod, 6 Balallan concerning her brother Iain (Am Babe):

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Iain was employed in a brick works in Bonnybridge, Stirlingshire. This was a reserved occupation, nevertheless Iain volunteered for the Army. He joined the Kings Own Scottish Borders (Tank Regiment), serving in Italy, India and North Africa where he either joined or was drafted into the SAS.

After the War, he took up the offer of training in electronics. On completion of his course, he was employed in a factory in Leicester making components for the motor industry. Iain got married and eventually settled in Northampton.

Shortly before his 65th birthday, Prince Philip paid a visit to the factory. Iain took him on a tour of his department and during the tour, the Prince learnt that Iain was from the Isle of Lewis. He must have made a good impression on Prince Philip as shortly after the visit, a letter arrived inviting Iain to attend Buckingham Palace to receive a medal. This was just at the time of his retirement and he had not wanted to retire as he felt he was able to carry on working at the job he liked and was good at. However, the company had a 'retire at 60' policy so he had to leave.

He declined the Palace invitation but a few weeks later, two men in a Rolls Royce drew up at the house and announced they were from Buckingham Palace. "Here goes" thought Iain; "I'm being taken to the Tower for snubbing the Queen".

Nothing so drastic! He was presented with a medal inscribed: 'For service to the King and Country'.


Title: Unsung Hero of Balallan
Record Type: Stories, Reports and Traditions
Type: Story
Record Maintained By: CECL
Subject Id: 36128