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Syd Scroggie was born in Canada to Scottish parents and arrived in Scotland as a young boy upon the death of his father in the First World War. He attended John Watson's Institution in Edinburgh and Harris Academy in Dundee and after leaving school he joined D.C.Thomson where he was sub-editor on The Hotspur. At the outbreak of the Second World War Scroggie joined the Cameronian Rifles and later the Lovat Scouts. He saw five years active service but just a couple of weeks before the end of war he stepped on a mine in Italy, losing a leg and the sight of both eyes. A keen mountaineer previously, Sydney did not let his war wounds hold him back and he continued to roam the hills, completing more than 600 ascents, until shortly before his death in 2006. Scroggie was also a skilled poet and essayist, taught himself Greek through Braille and was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Dundee University.