School History Found on eBay

Posted on 11th Jan 2022 in ESMS News

In November, an eagle-eyed former member of staff noticed items for sale on eBay relating to Garry Fairbairn, a Melville College former pupil, and 82 Squadron Blenheim pilot, who was killed in action in 1941.

Thanks to SMC history teacher David Clarke, Fairbairn’s 1936/37 rugby cap and a selection of medals were added to the school archive. David said:

“As I always say, our war-dead die twice – once when they are killed and twice when they are forgotten.”

With the items now safely in the care of the school, Mr Clarke continued, “Garry, you’re coming home, and our pupils will speak your name and see your face again. You will not be blotted out.”


About Garry Fairbairn (1919 - 1941)

Garnet (Garry) McKenzie Fairbairn was born on 5th November 1919. He was educated at the Edinburgh Institution and Melville College from 1925 – 1937. He was a prefect and excelled at sport, going on to captain the 1st XV in his final year.

On leaving school, Garry joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1940, and then promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant in 1941.

Seventy years on, the exact circumstances of Garry’s death remain unclear, but it is believed he was killed in Malta, as part of an anti-shipping campaign.


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