Obituary: Walter Farquhar

Walter Farquhar, engineer, air-force officer and local councillor: born Bathgate, West Lothian 22 February 1921; foundryman, Renton and Fisher 1936- 39; flying officer engineer, RAF Bomber Command 1940-45; costing engineer, Monro and Miller 1945-86; member, Bathgate Town Council and Senior Bailie 1960-75; elder and session clerk, St David's Church, Bathgate 1970-90; married 1944 Mary Bryce (one daughter); died Lancaster 3 April 1993.

THE LAST occasion on which I saw Walter Farquhar was when he waited patiently until the rest of my constituents had conducted their business at my weekly surgery. His visit was prompted by the controversy surrounding Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris. His point was simple. He hated war. He had deep distaste for what he had been asked to do over Hamburg and other German cities. But, was Britain in the 1990s going to disown what the RAF aircrews had done, risking their lives on every mission in the 1940s?

Farquhar would say that he was just plain lucky to have a half-century of active life that was denied so many of the aircrew with whom he served. Having participated in a couple of score of Halifax bomber missions over German targets, he believed he was living on borrowed time, that was not accorded to so many of his contemporaries. From the moment he returned from the war, Farquhar devoted his spare time and considerable energies to good works, visiting wounded ex- servicemen, and the elderly, and keeping in touch with those less well placed than himself, above all, those who had served in the same Halifax squadron. The wives of Farquhar's 76 Squadron banded together to make a memorial tapestry which was placed in York Minster in 1986.

Walter Farquhar was born the youngest of the 10 children of Alec Farquhar, a coalminer at Riddochhill Colliery. One of Walter's brothers, Robert, was a prominent official of the National Union of Mineworkers, and pit delegate at Riddochhill at the time of closure.

Farquhar was elected to Bathgate Town Council in 1960, and became Senior Bailie two years before Local Government Reform changed the system in 1975. It was a tribute to his personality that he stood and was elected as an Independent - and independent Farquhar really was. He was one of a generation whose style of life was determined by the shared dangers of the Second World War. He was sustained by a supremely happy marriage to Mary Bryce.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week