Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Lieutenant-Colonel Aidan Mark Sprot, MC 1919-2021

 _. Lieutenant-Colonel Aidan Mark Sprot of Haystoun, MC, late the Royal Scots Greys, died at his home, 28 January, 2021, aged 101.

Lt-Col Sprot was a landowner and farmer at the Haystoun estate and served as Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale, 1980-94.

He was born 17 June, 1919, a son of Major Mark Sprot of Riddell, of the Scots Guards, and his wife, the former Meliora Hay, daughter of Sir John Hay of Haystoun, 9th Baronet. A sister, Celia [1917-2011], was Viscountess Whitelaw, wife of William Whitelaw, 1st [and last] Viscount Whitelaw, KT, CH, MC, PC [1918-1999], the Conservative politician and cabinet minister.

Aidan Sprot was commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys in 1940, and served in the Middle East 1941-43, and Italy 1943-44, NW Europe 1944-45. Five years ago he was honoured by the French government, 70 years after he helped liberate their country. Sprot was amongst the Allied forces who forced the Nazis out of France during World War II. He was one of nine of the heroes from Scotland who were each awarded the French Legion d'Honneur, France’s highest National Order, at a ceremony on board French Navy Destroyer, Aquitaine, in Leith. As a captain in the Royal Scots Greys when he crossed to Normandy on June 9, 1944, and saw continuous action around Caen and Falaise till August. He then pushed to the river Somme and finally to the Belgium Frontier on September 5. The medals were presented by Emmanuel Cocher, Consul General of France in Edinburgh and Glasgow and Rear Admiral Patrick Chevallereau, the French Embassy’s Defence Attaché.

Even in his 90s Colonel Sprot remained an active figure in the Peebles community. As well as being the Honorary President of the Tweeddale Society he was a former Chieftan of Peebles Highland Games.


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