Thomas Lothian Johnston

Thomas Lothian Johnston was born in Whitburn, West Lothian. He moved to Newcastleton aged one, when his father was transferred there as a railway signalman. He left Hawick High School in 1944, aged 17. He thoroughly enjoyed playing rugby particularly for Hawick  Trades.  He volunteered for the Royal Navy and joined HMS Cumbernauld to see service in the Far East. WW2 ended a year later without him seeing action. He gained a place at Cambridge University, but declined it, choosing to instead go to Edinburgh University, although he remarked €œHad there been a University in Hawick, I would have gone there€. Taking up his place at Edinburgh, the young naval officer caught the eye of Professor Sir Alexander Gray, one of the great figures of pre-war and wartime economics in Britain. In later years he became a Professor of Economics at Heriot-Watt University between the years of 1966 and 1976, then a member of the Scottish Economic Council from 1977 to 1991. During this period he was the Economic Consultant to the Secretary of State for Scotland between 1977 and 1980. He was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University between 1981 and 1988 and President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from 1993 to 1996. He died in 2009.

by Hannah Simpson