Pegasus Journal Obituary for Archie Bookless MC

Major Bookless passed away peacefully in Ottawa, Canada in his 90th year. Born in Ningpo, China and sent “home” to Loretto School in Scotland as a young boy, he grew up with a great love of fishing, rugby, golf and exotic travel.

At the outset of World War II, he was commissioned in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, then seconded in 1943 to the newly formed Parachute Regiment.

In the first hour of D-Day, 6 June 1944, his 8th Para Battalion parachuted into Normandy, where they held the Bois de Bavent, East of Caen for four months.He served as adjutant to Brigadier Alastair Pearson, said to be the most decorated man in the British forces and was under the 3rd Para Brigade command of the legendary Brigadier James Hill. In December 1944, they saw action in the Ardennes. And in March 1945, his battalion were dropped over the Rhine. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1946.

Leaving the British Army, he finished qualifying as a Scottish chartered accountant and after a few years in Edinburgh decided to set up a tractor importing business in Calcutta, India. His lifelong love of hot and spicy curries dates from this time as does his life membership of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

In 1954, he came to live permanently in Canada working first for Price Waterhouse, the Sun Life Assurance Company and eventually as an independent broker and estate planner in Montreal. In 1959, he qualified as a chartered life underwriter of Canada and in 1967 served as president of the Life Underwriters Association of Montreal.

He was active on many professional committees and a life member of The Black Watch (RHR) of Canada, the St Andrew’s Society of Montreal, the Royal Canadian Legion (Sir Arthur Currie Quebec No 1), the D-Day (Normandy) Society and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association.

He also enjoyed his many summers at the family cottage in Magog in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and golfing at The Hermitage Club.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Catherine Teresa Glancey, four children – Christopher (Whitehorse, Canada), Madeleine (Charlbury, UK), Catherine (Ottawa, Canada), Caroline (Ottawa, Canada), and five grandchildren – Richard and James Wheare, Alexandra and Eric Bookless and Thea Gaudet. Dear uncle of John and Sheila Marchant of Norfolk, England and Archie Marchant of Edinburgh, Scotland.

He was much loved and will be sadly missed by his family, many friends and associates in Canada and in Europe.

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