TAKING on the Lord Provost role in Glasgow could be seen as a brave move, given the level of scrutiny which comes with it.

But not many incumbents can claim to have an actual bravery award – that is, apart from Victor Warren. Born and bred in Glasgow, he lived in Dowanhill with his father David Dunn Warren (founder of Hunter and Warren explosives) and his mum Jean, and went to Kelvinside Academy.

He became Lord Provost in 1949 (here he is, taking the oath of office). In May 1949 he had to miss the kirking of the magistrates at Glasgow Cathedral because his doctor had ordered him to bed for complete rest after a harrowing experience while on a fishing trip in Loch Arkaig, in Inverness-shire, a few days earlier. Warren had been fishing with a friend from Glasgow when their boat was overturned in a squall. The friend’s chauffeur was drowned, while Warren was struggling to help him.

Lord Provost Warren with womens international bowlers in Bellahouston Park in 1949. Pic: Herald and Times

Lord Provost Warren with women's international bowlers in Bellahouston Park in 1949. Pic: Herald and Times

After a brief rest, Warren swam back to the upturned boat, to which his friend was clinging, and they dragged the boat into shallow waters. Exhausted, they walked three miles to raise the alarm. Warren later received the Glasgow Corporation medal for bravery and the Glasgow Humane Society’s certificate for gallantry.

Warren took over the running of the family explosives firm and served as Lord Provost until 1952, when he was appointed Civil Defence Controller for West Scotland. He was knighted in the 1951 New Year’s Honours list.

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Warren had been the leader of the Progressive group on the town council. He organised defences against nuclear war (in the post-war “duck-and cover” hysteria) and began the waves of slum clearance for which Glasgow became very famous. During the war he had commanded the 15th Scottish Divisional Signals and the 82nd West African Divisional Signals. He died aged just 49 in 1953.