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Charles Peploe (C2 1944-48)

Charles Peploe (C2 1944-48) was born on 1st September 1930. He was the youngest of three children born to Captain Charles Reid Peploe and his wife Catherine Mary MacFie in The Brookside, Bedhampton, in Hampshire, and he grew up alongside his brother David Claud who was sadly killed in the Second World War, and his sister Mary Theodosia, who passed away in 2002. Their father was in the Royal Navy and was involved in the scuttling of the German fleet at Scapa Flow in 1919. Sadly, he died young, when Charles was only three years old, leaving Catherine to bring up the children alone. Catherine returned home to Scotland to be closer to family, living first in North Berwick and then Gullane. Charles began his schooling first at Ardvreck and later at Marlborough College in Wiltshire where he excelled at sports, especially swimming, and diving.

Having completed his National Service, Charles soon discovered that a planned career in accountancy was not his cup of tea, and a change of direction was called for. Leaving Napier College behind him, Charles was given the opportunity of a placement with Grant’s of St. James’s in Glasgow, then at Howgate Wines in Edinburgh, and latterly at Peter Green and pursued his desire to become a Wine Merchant. Over time, Charles accumulated a vast knowledge of wines, attending many tastings and events, becoming well-known in the trade, and thoroughly enjoying his work. Charles was a tremendously sociable man who was ideally suited to the wine trade and the demands it made on him to be sociable in order to succeed, and succeed he did.

Meeting Carolyn Lucile, Comtesse Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, when she was a chalet maid in Verbier and marrying her in 1966 were important highlights of Charles’ life. They moved first to Gullane and later to Liberton in Edinburgh, celebrating the arrival of their two sons Crispin (Cris) in 1969 and Fergus in 1970, along the way. When Carolyn suffered a serious head injury in 1974, Charles stepped into the breach and not only visited her twice a day in the hospital and supported her ongoing recovery but also took a much more active and hands-on role in the upbringing of his sons. The summer holidays involved a long but enjoyable drive to Devon to stay for two weeks with Charles’ sister Mary. Charles was a good driver who liked driving and loved cars, and the journey was always completed in one go. Trips to Europe and many winters skiing holidays are also recalled fondly. An avid reader (an interest he shared with Carolyn), keen photographer and enthusiastic dog lover, Charles added to his understanding of the world and nature through these interests.

In the last eight years, Charles became a grandfather, fondly known as ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, to Fergus and Oonagh’s daughter, Emma. Charles was exceptionally proud of Emma and for the person she is growing up to become. His pride in his sons, and the life partners they chose, never waned.

Charles’ return to Gullane, the town where he made so many happy and fond childhood memories, completed the circle of life for Charles. He was in Muirfield Nursing Home there for only ten days, having given himself permission to move on. He passed away peacefully on Saturday 22 October to make his way back to Carolyn whom he missed so much and loved so dearly.