Where there’s a Will…

I came across an article published in the Sunday Post on July 23 2006. It was headed “Where there’s a will…there’s a lawyer like Alastair.” Alastair Campbell Head of our Private Client Department was asked “The Honest Truth about Wills.” One of the questions he answered was “What is the most unusual bequest you have encountered?” It is quite a tale. Here it is. A Glasgow man called John Wilson died in 1989 leaving money to a Royal Navy Captain. All the Will said was “To Captain Donald Macintyre RN, former commander of the destroyer Hesperus who sank U-Boat 186.”John had attached a letter to the Will explaining that his brother James was Chief Radio Officer on the SS Ocean Vagabond part of a convoy sailing from Newfoundland to Hull. In January 1943 a storm scattered the convoy and The Vagabond sailed on her own for five days before being hit by four torpedoes fired from U- Boat 186.The Captain of The Vagabond gave orders to abandon ship. James was never seen again after the second torpedo hit the ship. John’s letter explained that “The radio was out of action after blast damage by the first torpedo and the radio room was in darkness. But my brother fixed the radio.” James had stayed behind and sent out an SOS. The distress call was picked up by a British Destroyer which then made its way to the scene and saved the men in the life rafts. In May 1943 U- Boat 186 was sunk by the Hesperus captained by Donald Macintyre who earned John Wilson’s everlasting gratitude. Alastair checked naval records and discovered that Captain Macintyre had died two years before John but Captain Macintyre’s son and daughter were successfully traced and given the bequest. A happy ending.

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About Elizabeth Baker

Elizabeth is our Business Development Manager. She has a degree in both English Literature and Law from Glasgow University. After graduating in 1983 she served her traineeship as a solicitor in Oban. When she was admitted as a solicitor her first job was at Mitchells Roberton in 1985 so she is a well known face. She spread her wings and joined other firms along the way and had a successful law practice under her own name for some years. She returned to Mitchells Roberton in 2011 and works primarily to enhance the marketing of our firm. With her excellent links with small business and the media in the greater Glasgow area, she is well placed in the role and generates a good deal of referrals and new business. Elizabeth is a people person and naturally connects with both staff and clients. Elizabeth has two grown up children and loves walking her dog, travelling and reading literature.

2 thoughts on “Where there’s a Will…

  1. It’s nice to know that through someone unknown leaving a will something unexpected can happen in someone’s life. I’m sure however much the windfall the Captains family enjoyed it.

  2. Must have given the Captain’s family a great deal of comfort to receive this information relating to their father’s war-time activity, especially hearing of it so soon after his death.

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