James Dunlop Vallance
  Sir Harry Lauder
My grandfather, James Dunlop Vallance, was born in Hamilton Scotland on May 28, 1903 to parents Grace Dunlop and James Kerr Vallance.  His father was a coal-mine manager and the younger brother of Nance Lauder. Nance and Harry Lauder were living in Tooting (England) in 1903, and it's unlikely they met their new nephew at that time.

That same year (1903) James Kerr Vallance emigrated to Springhill, Nova Scotia where he'd been hired to manage a coal-mine at a substantially higher salary than he was earning in Scotland. His wife and two children followed in 1904.  The family continued moving west, first to Kindersley Saskatchewan in 1910, then to Drumheller Alberta in 1921.  James Kerr Vallance retired in 1935, later settling in British Columbia.  I don't believe he ever returned to Scotland.

My grandfather (James Dunlop Vallance) grew up on the Canadian prairies, eventually pursuing his interest in art and photography, professionally.  He married Elizabeth Black on Christmas Day 1925, and had three children.  With the outbreak of war in Europe he was called to service and remained in England and France until the war ended in 1945.

In the autumn of 1944, while "on leave" in England, my grandfather travelled to Scotland and visited his Uncle Harry at Lauder Ha' in Strathaven.  Aunt Nance had passed away in 1927 and Harry, now 74, was being cared for by his niece, Greta. 

There are several photos of Sir Harry and my grandfather together at the estate, and my grandfather also received a letter from Sir Harry, although I'm not sure if the letter was written before or after my grandfather's visit to Strathaven.  T

he letter refers to a Squadron Leader Ian Mackay, likely my grandfather's superior officer ... and a Scot, no doubt. Upon learning of the connection to Sir Harry, I'm guessing that Mackay pressured my grandfather to try and arrange a performance for the troops, something Harry had done willingly, and often, during the First War -- but by 1944 his health was failing and performances were extremely rare.

Harry sends a note to my grandfather, explaining that "my health does not yet allow me to make long journeys".
My grandfather, James
Dunlop Vallance, circa 1945