Home   >   Listing   >   Duncan Patrick Macgregor 1924 - 98

Educated at :  Prince of Wales School.
Married: Hazel Kempton.
Children : 3 daughters and 1 son.
Grandchildren : 5 granddaughters and 3 grandsons.


given at his funeral at St Mary's, Husbands Bosworth, 30th November 1998

Duncan Macgregor chose to guide by example rather than precept, by actions rather than words. And while he held himself to the highest personal standards, he was always indulgent of others weaknesses; he was non-judmental and quick to forgive.

Another word that comes to mind is "service". He had an unerring sense of duty; to his family, to his friends, to his country and his church. As a boy in Kenya he disguished his age to serve his country in the Second World War. At just seventeen years old he joined the army seeing action in Madagascar and later against the Japanese in Burma.
His former commanding officer, Sir Dan Petit spoke of how Duncan's mother asked him on the ship, about to sail for India, to keep her son out of any truble. In his words, " Duncan, being Duncan of course, got into all the hot spots". Always modest in his many achievements, he would only recall those incidents almost incidental to the main business of war. For instance the story of the army dentist who had to operate a treadmill with his foot to power the drill he was using in Duncan's mouth at the same time.

His public service continued after the war. He was asked to form and command Special Company of the Kenya Police Reserve at the height of the Mau Mau. The work involved night time raids against known terrorist strongholds, supported by the British Army. He was mentioned in dispatches for his achievements. During this time he was also working in the family motor business by day and raising two infant daughters.Again he always played down his personal courage; his strong sense of duty was always worn lightly.

A fine sportsman, Duncan was above all a team player, a quality that he carried into all walks of life. He loved rugby and hockey but with a good eye for a ball he could turn his hand to most games.

Born in South Africa but raised in Kenya, Duncan was to the end unmistakably colonial. Thirty years in the United Kingdom did not diminish his desire to escape from time to time to sunnier climes, preferably with a good beach and a light surf. He also used more than a smattering of Swahili words in his everyday speech.

A line in his father's obituary is applicable in equal measure to his son. Duncan preferred to " do good by stealth and blush to find it fame". And then there was  a side to Duncan that was even more private than his quiet but considerable charity and that was his religious belief.

Duncan used to joke about his mortality from his 70th birthday. He would quote the Bible passage that says that three score and ten is a man's full allotment. He felt he had been given a special line of credit.

In summary a simple pigraph seems most appropriate. " A good man, a good father, a good husband and a good friend.