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Beth's marathon effort for her late Grandad & Arctic Convoys Veteran

Among the runners, walkers, zip-sliders and others fundraising for Scottish Veterans Residences in 2024, you will find the uplifting story of Beth Menzies – who is running the Edinburgh Marathon in memory of her Grandad, a proud Veteran of the Arctic Convoys.

John Stoddart Menzies, of Eskbank near Dalkeith, died at the age of 98 on 13 February this year, but before he passed away, he had backed Beth’s plans to support fellow Veterans by raising money and awareness for his chosen charity - SVR.

The family also very kindly donated the funeral collection held in celebration of Mr Menzies’ life to SVR. And what a life!

Born in Musselburgh in 1925, John left school at the age of 14 to become a Junior clerk in the roads department of Midlothian County Council. In 1943, he enlisted and become a Telegraphist/Air Gunner (TAG) in the Royal Navy Fleet’s Arm.

He served on HMS Vindex with 836 Squadron, which flew Fairey Swordfish Mark II torpedo bomber plans, and escorted convoys JW66 and RA66 – the last Russian convoy operations of the War.

Joh was discharged in June 1946 and returned to the roads department, eventually becoming responsible for the administration of Lothian Region. He married Nancy and they had two children, before grandchildren, and he was also a much-adored great grandad.

Beth takes up the story: “Just a few months ago I lost my grandad and I truly do have lots to be grateful for. My grandad was not only my grandad but he was my running buddy, my coffee date and my best friend.

“A few weeks before he passed I was sitting by his hospital bedside and we were chatting about whether I should run the marathon or not and my grandad never said no to doing anything so here I am running the marathon!

“His charity of choice was Scottish Veterans Residences, as he himself was a World War II veteran. His stories used to fascinate me about him flying planes in the war and all his tales which I am so grateful I got to listen to first-hand.”

Beth has been building up her training ahead of her 26.2-mile run on Sunday, 26 May, in a rather unconventional (and warmer) way!

She explains: “After a tough  start to the year, I jumped on a flight to Colombia! So I have been doing my training in the heat, mountains and beaches,  but hopefully all will pay off so I can cross that finish line. I’m not too bothered about what time I run it in or my pace, I am just very happy to be running one more time with my grandad.”

Beth would be grateful of any donations or messages of support on her JustGiving page and you can also follow her training and fitness adventures on Instagram @_bethmenzies

Thank you Beth, from all at Scottish Veterans Residences. Your Grandad would be exceptionally proud.

  • If you would like to take part in a run, or fundraise for Scottish Veterans Residences in any way, please contact: