Scotland’s oldest veteran Jimmy Sinclair dies aged 107

Tributes paid to last remaining 'Desert Rat' who passed away just weeks after he featured in VE Day exhibition.

Scotland’s oldest veteran Jimmy Sinclair dies aged 107
Jimmy Sinclair has died aged 107.

Tributes are being paid to Scotland’s oldest veteran, Jimmy Sinclair, who has died at the age of 107.

Mr Sinclair was the last remaining ‘Desert Rat’ and the last surviving Scottish soldier who served in the 7th Armoured Division alongside Field Marshall Montgomery.

The CEOs of two of Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charities today led the tributes to Mr Sinclair, who hails from Kirkcaldy, Fife.

In a joint statement, Mark Bibbey, of Poppyscotland, and Dr Claire Armstrong, of Legion Scotland, said: “It is with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of Jimmy Sinclair, who fought against Rommel in the North African desert as a gunner with the elite Chestnut Troop, 1st Regiment Horse Artillery, of the 7th Armoured Division.

“We are blessed that so many were able to hear Jimmy’s incredible story over the years and it was no surprise that he received numerous commendations for his Service during the Second World War and, following that, with the Allied Control Commission in Berlin.

“His was one of the most important voices that were heard as the country celebrated VE Day just a few short weeks ago.

“We wish to send our sincere condolences to Jimmy’s family at this time, along with his legion of friends and followers.

“There is no better way to sum up this wonderful man than highlighting that he refused to wear his medals out of solidarity for those he served with that were lost.

“We are sure that many of us across the country and beyond will be raising a glass to this incredible man.”

Fife Council also paid tribute to Mr Sinclair, who just a weeks ago featured in a special exhibition to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Councillor Rod Cavanagh, Fife Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Scotland’s oldest soldier and my good friend, Jimmy Sinclair.

“Jimmy lived to a ripe old age and served in the Royal Horse Artillery during the Second World War.

“He was one of the famous ‘Desert Rats’ fighting against Rommel’s Africa Corps and he proudly boasted that he was still wearing the false teeth fitted by the 3rd Australian Ambulance Unit at Tobruk in 1941.

“That was typical of Jimmy, a great sense of humour and ‘sharp as a tack’ to the end. I used to visit Jimmy regularly and he enjoyed attending a number of Armed Forces commemorative events.

“He will be greatly missed.”