Friday 26 March 2010

Letters from a 'remarkable vagabond' mountaineer

The papers of the late Sydney Scroggie, a well known character in Dundee, will soon be fully catalogued and available for use. The collection includes much of Sydney’s personal correspondence stretching as far back as his school days and later life up to 2004. They also cover his time in the Second World War both before and after being wounded. There is also a large number of short stories, poems and articles written for newspapers (many of which were published) on a wide variety of topics from comedy to tragedy to tales of the paranormal.

Syd Scroggie was born in Canada to Scottish parents and arrived in Scotland as a young boy upon the death of his father in the First World War. He attended John Watson’s Institution in Edinburgh and Harris Academy in Dundee and after leaving school he joined D.C.Thomson where he was sub-editor on The Hotspur. At the outbreak of the Second World War Scroggie joined the Cameronian Rifles and later the Lovat Scouts. He saw five years active service but just a couple of weeks before the end of war he stepped on a mine in Italy, losing a leg and the sight of both eyes. A keen mountaineer previously, Sydney did not let his war wounds hold him back and continued to roam the hills, completing more than 600 ascents, until shortly before his death in 2006.

This collection reflects what a remarkable individual he was and what an inspirational life he led.

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