a picture of Tam the Gun
Staff Sergeant Thomas McKay, known as Tam the Gun, died at his home early on Thursday 17th November 2005 at the age of 60. He had been suffering from cancer. Tam, a father-of-three from near Dunfermline in Fife, had been firing the gun since July 1979 and was awarded the MBE in 1999. Earlier this year he married his wife Joyce in Bergen, Norway.  Tam will be sorely missed by his many friends and visitors to Edinburgh Castle .

Edward McCarthy on Tam the Gun.
 
As Scotland's oldest surviving district one o'clock Gunner the passing of  Tam McKay rings a sad note. I feel privileged to say I have memories of him in  my child hood in Mussleburgh. We often met and talked for a moment although Tam  was five years younger than I and had his own set of friends.

Memories of running like the wind through Pinkie Park wood and exploring  the shore line for treasure are precious to me.  Much later when I was a corporal in the T.A. 529 Company R.A.S.C. Tam  was a young cadet at that time. On one occasion a sergeant asked the cadets if  any  one would like to drive a Land Rover and Tam volunteered enthusiastically.

The sergeant handed him a large broom and told him to drive it around  the  service bay. Tam took it all in good spirit and laughed along with us.

As a District Gunner at Edinburgh Castle before Tam, I spent four interesting years firing the world famous time gun, then returned  to my first love of driving all kinds of vehicles.

Tam and I met briefly now and again passing a moment or  two reminiscing on our similar child hood games. It was sad to loose  someone so dedicated to the One O'clock Gun and just as sad to loose a link  with a Mussleburgh crony.
 
Respects and condolences to his Wife and  Family. 
   
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