Obituary - Dr Alexander Waugh

Dr Alexander Waugh.
Dr Alexander Waugh.

Doctor Alexander Waugh, who died at home in Banchory on July 28 aged 82, was the scholar, historian, writer, churchman and wit from whose pen flowed a minor Niagara of pamphlets, treatises, dissertations, essays and articles.

Sandy Waugh was the original polymath. He began in commerce, became a political agent, moved into personnel, then changed abruptly for academia.

Youngest of four children, Alexander Somerville Waugh was born and brought up in Dumbreck, Glasgow. His ability showed early, and he found a place in the High School of Glasgow.

Business beckoned as a career path, with initial studies in commerce, becoming an Associate of the Scottish College of Commerce, later part of Strathclyde University.

He undertook studies at the same as an external student with London University for a BSc in economics.

After National Service, he started in 1957 in the Bible department of Collins in Glasgow, before moving to Colvilles, later British Steel.

Always a people person, he moved by 1968 to Aberdeen as personnel manager of Aberdeen Journals Ltd, publishers of The Press and Journal and Evening Express.

He quickly embedded himself in political life, providing a firm steer to the local Liberal machine.

With good post in hand and a firm family life centred on his wife Sheila and their children Sheila and Angus, Sandy yearned for something more.

He took up study in retirement at the University of Aberdeen, reading divinity and theology, initially part-time, graduating with honours in 1999.

This was followed by him undertaking a doctoral thesis - A History of the Parish of Banchory-Ternan to 1929.

His magnum opus is his biography of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, his political hero and fellow former pupil of Glasgow High School, about to be published.

A kirk elder for many years, Sandy was session clerk at Banchory-Ternan West Parish Church. He joined the then Scottish Liberal Party as a 16-year-old, worked as an election agent and served on the national executive.

He unsuccessfully stood for Parliament in West Aberdeenshire in 1983, as well as Grampian Regional Council three years later.

Sandy and his wife Sheila celebrated 52 years of marriage in July. He is survived by her, their children, and four grandchildren.