I drew this to commemorate my late grandad who sadly passed away earlier this week. He was 92.
Thomas M. Smith lived a long and eventful life - he was born in Dundee (same as me) and in the Second World War he worked as support in Belgium and the Netherlands where he among several others broke into a garage and pilfered some of the artifacts there as souvenirs - my grandad took one of the smallish triangular Nazi flags from an executive car. The flag is currently owned by me, folded away in my wardrobe. He also met my grandmother, whom he later married and after returning to Scotland became a farmer in Perthshire.
He ran a large farm that grew cereal crops and had a few livestock. He continued in this business for several decades until the end of the 1980s, when he retired. He continued to live in the countryside and farm goats and sheep on a smaller scale however, well into the 2000s. I fondly remember him riding me and my cousins around his massive garden in a trailer pulled by his ride-on lawnmower. He would take walks in the morning, up country lanes and I accompanied him on some of them when I came to stay with him and Granny for more than a day. During the 1990s him and my gran spent their retirement on a whole host of adventurous holidays in the United States and Canada, including a rail trip through the Rockies. I would follow in his footsteps and visit many of these places myself. Some are still on my to-do list.
As you may have picked up, one thing my grandad was very passionate about were trains. He survived a notorious rail crash in the 1950s, but that didn't put him off; him and my dad would go on many rail trips together, many of them on heritage railways such as the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway - which I have depicted here, loosely based on a photograph we have of him. Sometimes I would come along too. The last time I went on a trip with them was up to Inverness in 2009, where I kept him entertained with sharing my experience of visiting some parts of America he had previously been to. In more recent years him and my gran celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, but sadly he went downhill after that as elderly people do.
I am really going to miss him.