Rev. Dr. Donald Caskie

1902 - 1983

The Tartan Pimpernel. Born at Bowmore (on the island of Islay), Caskie was educated there, at Dunoon Grammar School and the University of Edinburgh. He left his first charge at Gretna to become minister of the Scot's Kirk in Paris. During World War II he moved to Marseille where he helped British servicemen escape the Nazis to freedom. Eventually arrested, badly treated and sentenced to death, he was released following the intervention of a German clergyman. He returned to the Scot's Kirk after the war, was admitted to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1945 and also honoured by the French government. He later completed a Doctorate in Divinity at the University of Edinburgh which gave some insight into his wartime work. However, the full story appears in his autobiography The Tartan Pimpernel published in 1957, the proceeds from which helped fund the rebuilding of the Scot's Kirk, with Queen Elizabeth II laying the foundation stone the same year. Caskie left the Scot's Kirk in 1960 and ended his career ministering in Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay. He retired to live in the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh but died in Inverclyde Royal Hospital in Greenock. His funeral took place in Kilarrow Parish Church in Bowmore and he lies buried in the churchyard there.

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