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Biography: James B. Rae (1926-83, Graduated BSc 1946)

My Father was born in Dunfermline and the family moved to Broxburn, West Lothian where his father was a shale-mine fireman.

JB Rae at his graduationBy Lesley Mundie, November 2015

Editor's note: Lesley kindly arranged to send us several items from her father's university days including a lab book detailing results from the third-year lab 1945???46. We are also grateful to her for this short biography.

My Father was born in Dunfermline and the family moved to Broxburn, West Lothian where his father was a shale-mine fireman.

He attended Broxburn High School where he sat his senior leaving certificate before going onto Bathgate Academy to prepare for University. He was accepted to study chemistry at Edinburgh University, starting his course in 1943. He was a keen boy scout as well as playing football for school and the ATC. He was also a keen golfer.

On completing the first part of his degree, he and his best friend, Robert Russell, agreed to go and work in industry. I understand that this exempted them from national service, an important consideration, as they were both only-sons with widowed mothers.

My Father went to work with Babcock & Wilcox in Renfrew and while working there, finished his degree in 1951. He and my mother married in 1951 and then moved to Grangemouth to work for British Petroleum.

In 1959 he accepted a job with the Kuwait Oil Company, as Chief Chemist, which gave him a taste for travel. He left Ahmadi in 1965 and drove overland back to Scotland. His next overseas posting was to Nigeria in 1971 to help with the rebuilding of the laboratory facilities after the Biafran War.

He returned to work at Grangemouth before his final overseas posting to Corinth in Greece, where he was responsible for building a new laboratory. He returned to Scotland in 1981 and continued to work in the lab at BP Grangemouth until he retired due to ill health.

JB Rae in Kuwait and at Babcock and Wilcox

(Left): At Mina al-Ahmahdi in 1962 and (right) at Babcock and Wilcox, Renfrew in 1949. James B. Rae is in the middle.