Scottish Rugby is saddened to learn of the death of our hitherto oldest surviving Scotland cap, Logie Bruce-Lockhart. He died last week after a short illness, aged 98.
It’s also believed he was the oldest surviving global rugby internationalist.
Speaking to him at his home in north Norfolk last year, he was quite tickled at his longevity. In reply to an inquiry about his health he said: “I’m a little bit wobbly, but still loving life!”
Logie Bruce-Lockhart was part of a formidable Scottish rugby dynasty, who packed so much into his wonderful life.
His father, Rufus, or as he was known at the time JH, who hailed from Ayrshire, was capped twice in the centre before and after the First World War.
His uncle, Sir Robert, from Anstruther in Fife, was a secret agent in Russia, a British diplomat, and, rather more prosaically author, journalist and footballer.
His brother, Rab, was capped three times as a stand-off between 1937 and 1939 and later became headmaster at Loretto School in Musselburgh.
Logie Bruce-Lockhart was born, appropriately enough, in Rugby, Warwickshire on 12 October 1921.
He was educated at that great rugby nursery in Cumbria, Sedbergh, where his father served as headmaster.
Logie went on to study modern languages at Cambridge University and during the Second World War he served with the 9th Sherwood Foresters and then the 2nd Household Cavalry.
In the final years of the war, the bravery and composure which he so frequently displayed on the rugby field, was evident in the harsher arena behind enemy lines.
He played a role in liberating the notorious Belsen concentration camp then led humanitarian efforts at an over-crowded refugee camp on the Russian frontier.
Memorably, when Victory in Europe was declared, he commandeered a Dutch barge – full of wine and brandy – in Hamburg Docks, for his troops!
When hostilities ceased, Logie returned to his studies at Cambridge. He played in the two immediate post-war Varsity matches and won a Blue for squash.
He had already represented the Barbarians and was playing his club rugby for London Scottish when he won his first cap for Scotland, alongside captain Donny Innes in the centre, in a 6-3 home win against England in 1948.
When he was next selected, it was in his preferred position of stand-off, for the Murrayfield match against France in January 1950.
His half-back partner was Gala’s Arthur Dorward, who was winning his first cap. The pair had played together at school, though doubtless had never been confronted by such a flanker as Jean Prat, who Logie described as “extraordinary”.
Logie converted a try by another debutant, Grahame Budge, the Edinburgh Wanderers prop, as Scotland posted a fine 8-5 win.
Logie, who had become a schoolteacher at Tonbridge in Kent, went on to win three further caps, against Wales in 1950 and Ireland and England in 1953.
In 1955, he became headmaster of Gresham’s School in Norfolk, a post he distinguished for some 27 years.
His son, Rhu, told the Eastern Daily Press that Logie was “one of the great all-rounders of his generation.
He added: “He was a big believer in excellence and could find something good in every child and every teacher. He had a great sense of humour and was very gentle and kind.”
Former pupils speak of him with huge admiration and great affection. He enabled the inventor, Sir James Dyson, to finish his education at the school after Dyson’s father had died.
Logie was also a journalist contributing to the pages of The Scotsman and Rugby World on the sport that he loved.
But his versatility also saw him write on education and wildlife in publications as diverse as Country Life and She magazine!
In 2013, he published an autobiographical book, Now and Then, This and That, as he enjoyed a happy retirement, playing the piano, fishing, birdwatching and painting.
His wife of 64 years, Jo, passed away in 2009.
Scottish Rugby extends its sincere condolences to Logie Bruce-Lockhart’s family and many friends.
Image credit: EDP/Antony Kelly.