Hail to the chief: Tributes after death of a president
World leaders salute George Bush Snr after death at 94
The Queen and British prime ministers, past and present, paid tribute to President George HW Bush yesterday after his death aged 94.
The commander-in-chief at the end of the Cold War, the 41st president will also go down in history as the man who took the US into the first Gulf conflict.
The Queen said: “President Bush was a great friend and ally of the United Kingdom.
“He was also a patriot, serving his country with honour and distinction in office and during the Second World War.”
Her tribute was echoed by Prime Minister Theresa May, who said an “ethos of public service was the guiding thread of his life and an example to us all”.
She added: “It took him from service in the Second World War, to his stewardship of the CIA and his direction of the Gulf War as commander-in-chief. And in navigating a peaceful end to the Cold War he made the world a safer place for generations to come.” Former PM Tony Blair said he was “an extraordinary and exemplary public servant, a man dedicated to his country, the values it stands for at its best and to making the world better, more stable and more peaceful”.
Sir John Major, who worked with Mr Bush in the coalition to expel Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War, said it was a “privilege” to have known him.
“Sometimes people think politics is tawdry,” he said. “You could have never have said that about the way George Bush behaved in politics. He had opponents but never enemies.
“He certainly was a man who made sure politics was a respectable profession and he understood its obligations to everyone, not just the powerful, not just the rich, not just the mighty.”
Mr Bush died just seven months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara, who passed away in April.
He was elected president in 1988 but served just one term before losing his re-election bid to Democrat Bill Clinton. At the age of 18, he had become the youngest pilot in the US Navy when he received his wings. He went on to fly 58 combat missions. One saw him shot down by Japanese antiaircraft fire over the Pacific, leaving him to be rescued by a US submarine. He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.
The father of five had well-documented links to Scotland, primarily through his friendship with accountant and businessman Jim Gammell, whom he met in the 1950s.
The eldest Bush son, George, who followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as president from 2001 to 2009, was invited to holiday with the Gammell family in Perthshire and formed a bond with Jim’s son Bill, which still lasts today.
Mr Gammell’s accountancy firm Ivory and Sime was invited to invest in George Bush Snr’s Zapata Petroleum, eventually helping the company earn a multi-millionpound return.
Along with Scottish friends and a love of the country’s golf courses, the Bush family ancestry has been traced back to Scotland prior to the American revolution.
Then congressman George HW Bush in 1970