Obituary

Yvonne Augusta Murgatroyd, DA, WRSA, nee Drew and then MacKinnon

Passed away 23rd July 2020 in Kelty, Fife

Born 14th June 1920 in London to Augusta and Capt. Jack Drew, RAF.

During the first Word War her mother, Augusta, worked as the Chief Female Forager in Norfolk.

Her father, Capt. Jack Drew, originally came from Edinburgh, where his father owned a the Coach Building Company based in Gilmour Street, Edinburgh.

Capt. Jack Drew’s Father, the coach builder, was married to Nell Stevenson the sister of David Watson Stevenson, RSA, the sculptor of the Wallace statue on the Wallace monument and many other famous statues and William Grant Stevenson, RSA a sculpture, painter and an author of children’s books.

Capt Jack Drew, joined the Cameron Highlanders at the start of the Great War but was affected by a gas attack and was transferred to the Royal Flying Corp, which became the Royal Air force, where he served until September 1920, when he passed away, only a few months after Yvonne was born.

Yvonne studied at Streatham Girls School and matriculated at an early age and enrolled at the St Martin’s in the Field Art School where she graduated with a Diploma of Arts (DA) in 1938.

As a result of a recruiting campaign, by the RAF, in the Art College, looking for artists with creative minds, she joined the WAAF immediately after graduation.

She became engaged to a Canadian airman, Pilot Officer James MacKinnon, who tragically lost his life while flying a mission over the Dutch Islands July 4th 1940.

She then met James’s brother Ken MacKinnon and subsequently married in 1942.

Her first son Neil was born in 1943. They divorced a few years later.

Yvonne then married Mike Murgatroyd MTI, in January 1946. Her second son Peter was born in April 1947.  After discharge from the Royal Artillery, Mike went to Leeds University for a degree in Textile Technology.

After graduation the family moved to Birmingham were Mike joined Dunlop Rubber Company at their Research and Development facilities at Fort Dunlop. Birmingham. Yvonne’s third and fourth sons, David and Nicolas were born there.

The family then moved to near Rochdale- a secret R&D centre for Dunlop, but not long enough for more children.

Mike was then “head hunted” to the Firestone R&D facility in the west of London. Yvonne by this time had had 4 sons and so they decided to adopt a daughter, Rebecca in October 1955.

Not very long after that in 1958, they all moved to Edinburgh where Mike continued to work in R&D but this time for the North British Rubber Company owned by the American Company Uni-Royal.

Yvonne almost immediately got involved with Scottish independence and worked with many nationalist organisations, including the Scottish Patriots. Many of Yvonne’s family will remember having afternoon tea with Wendy Wood and others.

Yvonne then joined the SNP and sometime later her husband Mike did the same.

Yvonne enthusiastically involved herself in most of the Bye-Elections held until about 2000. Winnie Ewing, then the President of the SNP, presented her with the President’s Award. This superb bowl has 27 Bye-elections engraved around the rim. On investigation there were a good few more that are not mentioned. It is assumed that the engraver could not squeeze any more on the rim.

Yvonne served on and chaired many committees, at national, constituency and branch level. She served on the National Appeals Committee for some time.

This may not sound a lot, but the family moved many times:- from Edinburgh (Regent Terrace) to Inveresk village, Cockenzie House, Edinburgh again, Inverness (2), the Black Isle and Inverness again.  Yvonne then moved to Nairn after her husband Mike passed away in 2004. That is a lot of branches, and constituency organisations to work for.

Most notably, when living in the Inverness area and working with the Ewing family’s various election campaigns. The Ewing and Murgatroyd families were very close friends.

During this time her husband Mike served as the SNP’s National Treasurer from 1970 to 1983

In 2006 Yvonne moved to Dunfermline to be close to her son Nicolas and his wife Margaret.

At this time David and his wife Heather were living in Edinburgh and in 2008 Peter came back from working in Germany for 28 years, to Balerno after his wife, Kay, passed away in 2006.

Yvonne lived in her own house in Dunfermline, on the same road as Nicolas and Margaret, until 2018 when she moved to a care home in Kelty, where she was well looked after and cared for.

She celebrated her 100th Birthday on the 14th June 2020, succeeding in her wish to be the only member of her extended family to live past a 100th Birthday.

The Covid-19 made it difficult and at times impossible to visit her but she celebrated her birthday with the staff and other residents of the care home.

She passed away quietly on the morning of Thursday 23rd July.

Please do all you can to ensure her long-time wish for an independent Scotland.

Prepared by Peter M Murgatroyd

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