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Alex Ross, last remaining member of Burma Star Association in Aberdeen, dies at 95

Olivia and Alex Ross at the Burma Star memorial rose garden in Duthie Park. Picture by Heather Fowlie
Olivia and Alex Ross at the Burma Star memorial rose garden in Duthie Park. Picture by Heather Fowlie

The north-east chapter of a veterans’ association is to wind down, following the death of its last surviving member.

Part of the RAF Volunteer Reserve, Alex Ross served in the Second World War and would later be commended for his efforts during a campaign in Burma, now Myanmar.

He has died aged 95, with his family paying tribute to the “kind, hard-working and loving” husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Mr Ross did not speak too much about his time in service, but did tell relatives he missed the camaraderie he experienced.

Because of this he later joined the Burma Star Association in Aberdeen and was its last remaining member.

Mr Ross was born in 1924 and first lived in Barthol Chapel, Aberdeenshire, before moving to The Spital in Old Aberdeen where he was brought up with his six siblings.

After the war, he took up an apprenticeship as a monumental mason and was later responsible for the granite cladding on the Aberdeen Town House extension, as well as a plinth for the Robert the Bruce statue at Bannockburn.

He also fell in love with first wife Violet, and they had two children, Sandy and Vivienne.

Mr Ross’s children said: “He was a great dad and a loving role model, who always had a smile on his face and a very positive attitude to life.

“He had a great sense of humour and a fantastic memory which never faded.

“He had many friends and everyone that met him would remark on his cheery disposition and friendliness.”

Lord Provost Barney Crockett and Alex Ross. Picture by Heather Fowlie

They added: “He was also an affectionate parent, and very supportive.

“He always had their backs, and that didn’t stop when they became adults, either.

“Both children knew that they could talk to their dad about anything, and he’d listen and give advice – even if it wasn’t particularly wanted.”

Violet died in the early 1980s, but Mr Ross found happiness again with second wife Olive.

He taught her to dance and she broadened his horizons with his first trip to Majorca – something he enjoyed so greatly, they returned to the same hotel 22 more times.

Mr Ross’s children added: “He will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate enough to have loved him, and been loved by him.”

A Burma Star memorial rose garden was planted in the David Welch Winter Gardens at Duthie Park in 1998.

Mr Ross visited it with his family and the Lord Provost Barney Crockett last year.

Last night Mr Crockett, whose uncle was also a member of the Burma Star Association, said: “It was a great privilege to meet Alex and we are so appreciative of all that he, and the other men and women, did during that conflict.

“We must make sure we never forget the enormous contributions they made.”

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