Glasgow & West Scotland

Rose Gentle to receive Glasgow University honorary degree

Rose Gentle

The mother of a soldier killed in the Iraq war is to be awarded an honorary degree by the University of Glasgow.

Rose Gentle's 19-year-old son Gordon was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Basra in 2004.

She became an outspoken critic of the UK government's handling of the war and set up Military Families Against the War and Justice 4 Gordon Gentle.

Ms Gentle said her son would be "laughing his head off" at the thought of her going to university.

The 53-year-old holds former prime minister Tony Blair responsible for the death of her son and welcomed the publication of the Chilcot report last year, describing it as "comeuppance".

'Genuinely surprised'

During her campaign for answers from the government, Ms Gentle contested the 2005 general election against then armed forces minister Adam Ingram in East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow but lost out.

She met then prime minister Gordon Brown in 2009, having had a number of meeting requests with Tony Blair turned down.

Ms Gentle said she was genuinely surprised to be given the award.

"I was told it was for campaigning and it's lovely to see that campaigning for justice for Gordon and for other families in the Iraq War is being recognised," she said.

'Common good'

Ms Gentle will receive her honorary degree at a service held at the university on 30 November.

Others being honoured by the university this year include Nobel Prize-winning biologist Sir Paul Nurse, DC Comics artist Frank Quitely and John Shaw, vice chairman of India's largest biopharmaceutical company Biocon Limited.

Prof Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said honorary degrees provided an opportunity to recognise the achievements of individuals from across all walks of life.

He said: "We look forward to celebrating the successes of all our honorary graduands, and we also look forward to working with them in the future, for the common good."

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