Alexander Turnbull

Bank: National Bank of Scotland

Place of work: Arbroath branch

Died: 18 January 1943


Alexander Stewart Turnbull was born on 9 August 1915, the eldest child of Alexander Turnbull, a farmer, and his wife Annie. He had four younger siblings: Millie, Elizabeth, Frances and Bruce. He worked for National Bank of Scotland at its branches in Arbroath and Kirriemuir. Outside work, Turnbull was a member of Glenisla Rifle Club, and known to be an excellent shot. He also enjoyed fishing, motoring, cricket and football. 


In the late 1930s Turnbull learned to fly, gaining his aviator's certificate in November 1937. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve the following year, and by the outbreak of war in September 1939 held the rank of Sergeant Pilot. He left the bank to go on active service, and soon received his commission. He served in France and in the Battle of Britain, and by the end of 1942 held the rank of Squadron Leader. His commanding officer described him as a 'bulwark of strength'. In December 1942 he became engaged to Stella Irene Clark, who was a Section Officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They married at the start of January 1943. 


Not long afterwards, on 18 January 1943, Squadron Leader Turnbull's aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean sea. His fellow crewman escaped and was picked up four days later but there was no sign of Turnbull and it was presumed that he had died in the crash. He was 27 years old. 


Alexander Turnbull is commemorated on a bank war memorial at Gogarburn campus, Edinburgh

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