BRIGADIER George Lowder MBE
Chairman of Trustees
George Lowder took up the post of Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh in January 2016, where he is responsible for the delivery and development of an integrated transport network for the Edinburgh City region. Prior to this George served in Defence for almost 35 years. He was commissioned into The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in 1981, having attended George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. On commissioning, he studied Scots Law at Aberdeen, graduating in 1986. He gained a Masters Degree from Cranfield University in 1995 and studied personnel management at Strathclyde University in 2002.
As a young officer he served in The Falkland Islands, Germany, the UK, Northern Ireland, Canada and the 1991 Gulf War. He spent 2 years instructing at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was then appointed Chief of Staff of a Germany based Armoured Brigade, deploying to Bosnia in 1996; awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for this tour of duty and made MBE in 1998. He holds the US Bronze Star from a tour in Afghanistan.
He has commanded at every level from Platoon to Brigade, deploying on operations in UK, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and The Occupied Palestinian Territories.
His last appointment was as The Director of Defence Intelligence Operations, responsible for global operations, across the enterprise.
Major General Bob Bruce CBE DSO
Vice Chairman of Trustees
Major General Bob Bruce was commissioned into the Royal Scots in 1987. His early service was spent in Germany and Scotland and on operations in northern Ireland and the Gulf. He commanded C Company in Colchester and Northern Ireland. He was the last Commanding Officer of 1RS, having taken over on operations in Iraq. He led the merger of 1RS and 1KOSB to form 1SCOTS in 2006 and then commanded that new battalion on operations in Iraq in 2007/8.
Bob commanded 4th Mechanised Brigade from January 2011 to May 2013, which included a period in command of the British-led Task Force in Helmand, Afghanistan.
For his leadership on operations, he was awarded the DSO in 2013 and was made CBE in 2016.
Time on the staff has included tours in the MOD, the Army HQ and the Pentagon, USA. He was the Army’s Director of Capability and a member of the Executive Committee of the Army Board in 2015 / 16.
Following a secondment to the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bob will assume the posts of Military Secretary and General Officer Scotland in June 2017. He is currently the Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Bob has been married to Lorna for 21 years and they have two children, who have both left school. Beyond work, his interests include keeping fit, golf and fly fishing.
Captain David Nisbet
Before finishing paid work, David was a human resources professional with blue chip companies in a number of sectors. Prior to working as a consultant, he was the HR director of William Grant and Sons and spent a couple of years running their huge grain distillery at Girvan. He was seconded from BP to the Army for a 3-year short service commission with The Royal Scots, joining 6 platoon, B Company in Osnabruck alongside such luminaries as David Beveridge, Jim Blythe, Paddy Millar and John Sands and then with 1/52 Lowland Volunteers until 1976. .Before returning to BP he went on two tours to Northern Ireland and exercises in Norway and Greece. Interests include cooking, gardening, renaissance and choral music and offshore sailing.
Lt Colonel Dickie Donovan MBE
Dickie is currently the People Director for William Jackson Food Group, working with former Royal Scots Norman Soutar and James Watson. Dickie was a Royal for 26 years, joining the battalion in 1987 in Werl during the Cold War and going on to see operational service in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War, Bosnia and Iraq. He held a variety of command and staff appointments, including as Adjutant in Fort George, command of Reconnaissance / D Company in the Balkans and Iraq, Battalion Second-in-Command in Iraq and two tours in the Army Personnel Centre as a career manager. He attended the Joint Services Command and Staff College in 1998, attaining an MA in Defence Studies from Cranfield University. He completed his service in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the MBE for operational service in 2006.
Dickie is married to Sarah and they have two children, Christopher and Katie. In his limited spare time enjoys cycling, swimming, chess and game shooting.
Captain Alex Dockar
Alex owns a Wealth Management business based in Melville Street, Edinburgh. He graduated from the University of Dundee (MA Accountancy and Economics), initially working for Ernest & Whinney before being accepted for officer training at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Alex served as a commissioned officer with the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in Germany, Northern Ireland, Scotland and during the 1991 Gulf War. In 1994 he returned to the financial services profession developing his career within the wealth management and Private Banking sectors. In 2006 he set up and continues to run his practice advising private clients, entrepreneurs, land owners, trusts and executorships in London and Edinburgh.
Lt Colonel Gordon Rae
Lt Col Gordon Rae graduated from RMA Sandhurst in 1974. He served for 36 years in NI, UK, Germany, Sinai and Australia filling various appointments at Regimental duty and major HQs. During his time he graduated from the Open University and Cranfield University; he is also a qualified Project Manager. After retiring in 2010 he joined the Civil Service as Protocol Officer for GOC 2 Div/HQ Scotland, responsible for all State Ceremonials in Scotland. During this time he was a Trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust. He retired in 2015 and is now Chair of the Museum and Heritage Committee.
LT COLONEL John Sands MBE
John joined The Royal Scots as a Junior Leader in 1960 and on completion of his training in Oswestry joined the first Battalion in Tripoli, Libya in late 1962. He enjoyed many highlights during his career with the Regiment, principal amongst those would be the Mortar MFC in the Radfan 1964, Platoon Sergeant, B Coy 1968, Recce Platoon Colour Sergeant, Operation Motorman and Cyprus 1972-1974. Then followed periods as CSM A Coy and TQMS before returning from a short tour at Bridge of Don as RQMS to take over as RSM of the first Battalion in Munster,1977. He was commissioned in 1980 and spent an enjoyable 2 years as C Coy 2nd in command before spending the next 14 years in a variety of Quartermaster appointments finally retiring from the Regular Army in 1996. Then followed 3 plus years as PSAO with 32 Signals Regiment in Glasgow before finally retiring in 1999.
He has lived in Biggar with his wife Sheena for 20 years, close to his daughter and 2 grandsons, the eldest of whom is currently serving with 1 SCOTS. John enjoys golf, walking and keeping in touch with former Royals
Major Norman Soutar MC
Norman joined the Army in August 1978 starting at the Scottish Infantry Depot Glencorse as a Royal Scot recruit; eventually joining the 1st Battalion in Edinburgh in June 1980 after completing officer training at Sandhurst. His last appointment with the 1st Battalion was commanding A Company from 1989 to 1991.
Norman joined the food industry courtesy of Sir John Nott, who also commanded 5 Platoon albeit twenty two years before Norman, and for the last twenty years Norman has led a number of food businesses. Currently he is the chief executive of William Jackson Food Group, a £340 million turnover food group, where he works alongside former Royal Scots James Watson and Dickie Donovan.
Brigadier Robbie L Scott-Bowden MBE
Robbie was commissioned into The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) in 1974, joining the 1st Battalion on their return from Cyprus. Over the next 23 years he bounced from regimental tours, commanding platoons, in all the Companies, being Adjutant and commanding B company (AFV 432 and Warrior), and various training and operational staff appointments,, culminating in command of the 1st Battalion (1994-97) in the light role in Fort George and South Armagh, and for his last 6 months in the airmobile role at Colchester.
In his remaining 14 years in the Army he enjoyed tours in the Permanent Joint Headquarters at Northwood, the Procurement Executive, Edinburgh Castle (commanding 52 Infantry Brigade), Headquarters Infantry as the Director of Infantry, and lastly at the Defence Academy.
He was the Colonel of The Royal Scots (26 July 2005 – 28 March 2006), the last Colonel before the Regiment was merged into The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Married to Nicky with a daughter and son. On retiring from the Army he enjoyed three years with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity before trying his luck in the Oil & Gas business.