ROBERT Somerville,one of the men at a Rolls Royce factory who refused to work on the planes of the Chilean Air Force during Augusto Pinochet's regime, has died aged 85.

Known as "Bobby", Mr Somerville worked at the East Kilbride plant during the 1970s when Pinochet launched a military coup against the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. 

Along with Bob Fulton, John Keenan and Stuart Barrie, Mr Somerville downed tools and refused to work on any engines that were being used in planes set to go to the Chilean Air Force in an act of civil disobedience that has now been commemorated in the film "Nae Pasaran."

The film's makers paid tribute to him today. They said: "Here's to the wonderful Robert Somerville, who sadly has moved on, aged 85. Also known as Bobby, Papa or Mr Netherdale (after the youth club of the same name he founded in Motherwell), he was a beloved great-grandfather, a loving husband to Jean and a legendary shop steward.

"Well-kent and well-loved for his generosity, solidarity and laughter, he received an MBE for his work in industrial relations at Rolls Royce and, most recently, was made a Commander to the Republic of Chile for his efforts to preserve human rights in Chile.

"He was a warm, empathetic man who instinctively acted out of love, rather than fear, and his sudden absence leaves knots of grief that, hopefully, the happy memories we shared will one day loosen. He will be greatly missed.