Willie McRae

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Person.png Willie McRae  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, activist)
Born18 May 1923
Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Died7 April 1985 (Age 61)
Aberdeen, Scotland
Cause of death
Gunshot to the head
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
PartyScottish National Party

Willie McRae was a Scottish lawyer, orator, naval officer, politician and anti-nuclear campaigner. In the Second World War he served in the British Army and then the Royal Indian Navy. He supported the Indian independence movement and for much of his life was active in the Scottish National Party (SNP).

McRae is remembered for his mysterious death, in which his car crashed in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands and he was found shot in the head with a revolver. The official verdict was undetermined.


In 2021, a former police officer made "a series of startling accusations against the powers that be, claiming special branch had well-known political activist Willie McRae under surveillance before his death, stole his keys to enter his property ... and also labels the mysterious death as a ‘state-sanctioned murder’"[1]

There has been long-running claims that McRae was murdered. McRae was a leading independence activist and former vice-chair of the SNP. He was also a successful lawyer. There has been speculation that he was investigating allegations of child sex abuse against politicians. McRae also campaigned against the nuclear industry. He was also a friend and wartime navy colleague of Lord Mountbatten.