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Former Peterhead Prison guard and Second World War veteran celebrates 100th birthday

Stanley Sandison is celebrating turning 100-years-old.
Stanley Sandison is celebrating turning 100-years-old.

A Marine who served in the Second World War and later worked as a prison guard in Peterhead is celebrating his 100th birthday with his family.

Stanley Sandison was born on a farm in Glenrinnes on February 10 1922.

As a young boy he would walk more than two miles over hills every day to school and back, and started working on the farm when he was 15.

He joined the Marines in 1941 and sailed on the SS Empress of India to Egypt in 1942. Mr Sandison was then moved to Sicily until the end of the war.

He left the Marines in 1947 and began working in the prison service.

Mr Sandison worked primarily at the notorious Peterhead prison alongside Jackie Stuart, who was taken as one of the hostages in the riots of 1987.

During his time as a prison officer, he drove the last man to be hanged in Scotland in 1963 at Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen.

Mr Sandison on-site at British Gas. Supplied by Lynne Lino.

Once Mr Sandison left the prison service, he joined Securior as a dog handler and then later became the head of security for British Gas in St Fergus in 1979.

He worked there until he retired in 1990.

However, not to be one to sit around he got a part-time job at an auctioneer in Strichen, helping sell furniture.

His daughter Lynne Lino explained he was fond of buying and restoring old furniture.

Mr Sandison busy repairing a table. Supplied by Lynne Lino.

She said he would often come home with a table, or chair, or grandfather clock that looked worn and ready for the bin, but he would manage to make it beautiful again.

‘Still sharp as a tack’

Mrs Lino and her family own the Candacraig Estate in Strathdon, and when her father turned 90, he and his wife Hazel moved to the estate.

She said her father is the oldest man in their village and “still sharp as a tack”.

He reads the Press & Journal daily and consumes books about the war, prison, and the Marines.

The grandfather still enjoys crafting and making things, visiting his shed and greenhouse every day.

Mrs Lino said: “Recently I had a chair that was broken by a guest and I gave it to my dad and he fixed it, 99-years-old, he’s amazing.

“He’s actually unbelievable, and I think the reason that he’s stayed so fit is because he’s very active.”

Mrs Lino believes the reason her dad is still so fit is because he has remained “very active”. Supplied by Lynne Lino.

She added: “He’s got a lot of stories and he’s really good at them. He can remember so much about when he was working in the prison and when he was in Sicily during the war.”

The family visited the Peterhead Prison Museum and as they walked around Mr Sandison started telling stories about his time in the prison.

Mrs Lino laughed and said other visitors “cottoned on” that he used to work there and started following them around for the “guided tour” of the prison.

When Mr Sandison was 95, the family travelled to where he was stationed in Sicily and visited the graves of the fallen soldiers.

Mrs Lino explained that they were “astounded” at how much he could remember about life during the war.

Mr Sandison with his war medals. Supplied by Lynne Lino.

“I am half his age, exactly half,” she said, “and I do not have half his memory, it’s amazing.”

Although Covid has meant the family can not celebrate his 100th birthday the way they wanted, they are determined to still make the day as special as they can for Mr Sandison.

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