BORN in 1856 in the parish of Airth, Stirlingshire, the
assistant-manager of the Caledonian Railway was educated at the village
parochial school, first as a pupil and subsequently as a pupil-teacher. Finding
teaching not to his liking, however, he gave it up, and entered as an apprentice
in a law office in the neighbouring town of Falkirk. On completion of his
apprenticeship he was for about 18 months in the Town Clerk's office in
Dunbarton, but, desiring to attend the University, he left for a situation in
Glasgow, where he attended all the necessary classes in arts and law to enable
him to become a law agent. Unfortunately, when on the point of going up for his
final examination, his health broke down, and he had to give up study for a
At this juncture the late solicitor of the Caledonian Railway Company (Mr. Jackson) offered him a post in his office, which he accepted. He was placed in the conveyancing department, where he remained for a year or two, Subsequently he was appointed to assist the head of the Court of Session department, and on the resignation of the chief he was promoted to be head of that department, in which position he remained for several years. In 1888, on the appointment of the late Mr. Patrick as assistant traffic superintendent, Mr. Brand was asked by the late Sir James Thompson, who was then general manager, to become his Parliamentary assistant in room of Mr. Patrick. This position he accepted, and he served under Sir James Thompson till his retiral, and subsequently under Mr. Patrick while he was general manager.
Just prior to Mr. Patrick's death, in January, 1901, Mr. Brand was appointed assistant district superintendent (unattached), with the duty of taking up any matter which might be required to be dealt with on any part of the system. Mr. Patrick's sudden death, however, changed the position, and when Mr. Robert Millar received his appointment as general manager, Mr. Brand was appointed assistant to him, with head-quarters at 302 Buchanan Street.
Railway work has always had a great attraction for Mr. Brand. He got his first experience of it while serving his apprenticeship in Falkirk. A considerable portion of his spare time there was devoted to learning how to drive a locomotive. He also assisted in making up train books, and other railway office work.
At a later day and in more authorized circumstances Mr. Brand's Parliamentary experience of railway work took him into the thick of the fight of a long series of very important Bills, amongst which might be mentioned those for the Lanarkshire lines from Darvel to Lesmahagow, the Ballachulish line, the Crieff and Comrie Railway, Glasgow Central Railway, Dunbarton and Balloch Joint Line, Grangemouth new docks, and indeed most of the important Scottish railway legislation of the time. Perhaps the fiercest of all these fights were those over the Bill for the amalgamation of the Glasgow and South-Western and North British Railways, and in the same session the Bill for the acquisition of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway by the Caledonian and North British companies.
Mr. Brand is a widower, with a family of six.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)