Captain Robert Bryson
1906 - 2001
St.Thomas, Gallowgate, Church
tribute to a great servant of the Boys' Brigade, the community
and to the youth of Glasgow's east-end
Extract from the 'Glaswegian', Sept
1998 supplied by Charlie McDonald.
Bobby Bryson has two claims to fame, not only is the 93 year old the
most elderly Boys Brigade officer in Scotland......but this year he has
also starred in a film!
The retired agricultural salesman was chosen to play the main character in
the city film Roses of Picardy. And he conquered the challenge with ease.
The film was made in Glasgow by Outsider films and was shown at the
Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The short film contrasts the experiences and painful war time memories of
a WW1 veteran (played by Bobby) with those of an aimless youth who steals
his war medals. Bobby's performance was hailed as moving and effective.
Bobby was a youngster growing up in Dennistoun when WW1 broke out, he
remembers the blackouts and the Belgian refugees coming to his school and
the rush of local men to join up to fight the Germans.
Through the efforts of Charlie McDonald at the Scottish WW1 remembrance
group the Thistle and Poppy Society, Bobby came to the attention of the
film director Steven Mochrie.
Aug.2003, Extract from
messageboard, Charlie McDonald,
Wull in your BB days did you ever come across an Officer called Bobby
Bryson. I knew Bobby only in his last few years as he attended our Day
Centre here in Parkhead. I used to listen to him for hours about his BB
days... although I was never a member. Sadly he died just over a year ago
and I attended his funeral and I walked away from the church knowing that Glasgow
would be a worse place without him......he was a gentleman and an Officer
Aug.2003, Extract from
It is with great pride I can say I new Bob in my BB days and attended many
BB events where he would be there. His whole life was the BB a lovely
gentleman. I met him at various events as the Bridgeton District of the BB
became attached to the Dennistoun district and of course Bob's church was
in the Gallowgate.
He loved the BB music and always encouraged his young lads to join the
Battalion Brass Band, I was involved with BB bands and saw him often.
Sorry to hear of his death, he must have been a fair age!
Life is such that when you move on you lose touch with many people,
Yes a well respected and much loved BB man.
Aug.2003, Extract from messageboard, Charlie
McDonald, Glasgow, Scotland
Bobby Bryson was a pleasure to meet and full of wee stories that only a
nutcase like me would listen to...did you know he played a leading role in
a movie about 5 years ago. I attended the premier of it with him in
Edinburgh and he was a celeb for the day...never mind Bobby Di Niro or
Bobby Redford...we have Boaby Bryson!
I took him into the Hearts Supporters Club as I was choking for a drink...didnae
fancy the red wine at the Premier. As I stood at the bar waiting to get
served I asked a couple of guys what the score was wi' the Rangers and
they duly told me...I took over my pint and Bobby's Lemonade and told him
the score...forgetting that he was a Queen's Park man. He asked " how
did the Queen's get on" so I went back over and asked which brought
the reply " who the heck wants to know that " from the Hearts
fans. I pointed to Bobby and said " he does , he is the oldest
Queen's Park Supporter in the world". Before you know it my table was
covered in pints of lager for me and glasses of Lemonade for Bobby.
He certainly was a star in more ways than one that day.
I'll try and get you a postcard of the poster advertisement of
the film and send it to you.
He also spent a few holidays wi' me and my kids when they were younger on
the Somme at my mates cottage over there. He laid a wreath a couple of
times on behalf of the 16th (Glasgow Boys Brigade) Battalion of the
Highland Light Infantry at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. I can
honestly say that my life has been touched and honoured to have met and
known Bobby Bryson.