Updated: Mar 28
On March 8, 2023, Major (retd) Sir Andrew Iain Ochoncar Forbes, 13th Baronet (Bt.), peacefully passed away at home surrounded by family. Sir Andrew was born on November 28, 1945, to Lt.-Col. Patrick Walter Forbes (1914 – 1979) and Margaret Hawthorne Lydall (died 2001.) Near to 200 people attended his funeral on March 25, 2023, at St. Thomas’s Church in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire. His cousin James (Jamie) William Stuart Whitemore Sempill, 21st Lord Sempill, reported that "his eulogy painted a picture of an old fashioned gentleman, an eloquent communicator, and a wonderful father."
Sir Andrew was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, Perthshire, and graduated from St. Catherine's College, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, in 1969. He went on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, in Berkshire, Engla. He gained the rank of Major in the Gordon Highlanders. In 1984, he married Jane Elizabeth Dunbar-Nasmith, daughter of Rear-Admiral David Arthur Dunbar-Nasmith and Elizabeth Gwendoline Bowlby. They had four children: Anna Elizabeth Abercromby Forbes, born in 1984; James (now Sir James Patrick Ochoncar Forbes, 14th Bt.), born in 1986; Isabel; and David Ian Ochoncar, born 1993. His wife Jane died on September 21, 2005.
In 2000, Sir Andrew inherited the baronetcy from his third cousin Sir John Alexander Cumnock Forbes of Craigievar, 12th Bt. (1927 – 2000). Sir Andrew’s great-grandfather, Hon., James Ochoncar of Corse, was brother to Sir William Forbes-Sempill, 17th Lord Sempill and 8th Baronet of Craigievar. Sir William’s grandson Sir John Alexander Cumnock Forbes of Corse, 12th Bt., had inherited the baronetcy from his first cousin Sir Ewan Forbes of Craigievar, 11th Bt. (See Forbes of Corse and Craigievar family tree here.)
Sir William Forbes-Sempill, the 10th Baronet of Craigievar and 19th Lord Sempill, was the last private owner of Craigievar Castle. In 1963, Sir William agreed that the National Trust of Scotland would take ownership of the castle and the surrounding policies and that the government (Inland Revenue) would waive the death duties.
Sir Andrew was fondly recalled by Clan Forbes Chief, Malcolm, 23rd Lord Forbes, Sir Andrew played the bagpipes at the wedding of his son, Neil Malcolm Ross Forbes, Master of Forbes, (1970 – 2017) and the Hon. Maria Elfgyva Martell, in 2009. She recalls that Sir Andrew piped a trail of Forbeses down Main Street in Corbridge. She observed that he attracted quite crowd of local Northumbrians who no doubt thought they were being invaded by the Scottish Forbeses!
Jamie, Lord Sempill, also tapped Sir Andrew’s piping skills for the wedding for his daughter, Hon. Cosima Sempill (born 1983).
As the head of Clan Chief Tours, Lord Sempill introduced Sir Andrew to many members of Clan Forbes who wished to visit their ancestral home of Corse Castle. Among them was Bart Forbes, later President of the Clan Forbes Society, who visited in 2016.