In memory of Andy

AndymarnAndy Kavanagh-Mosson was born in 1936 into a different world, the son of an unmarried Irish mother who fled to London to ensure that she could keep her child.  She was a strong and determined woman, whose strength and determination were inherited by her son.  In order to make a living she fostered homeless children, and was one of the few in that racist era who willingly fostered children from African or Asian backgrounds.

Andy grew up surrounded by strong women who struggled and survived in poverty, who faced up to racism and discrimination, and developed a burning sense of fairness and justice that he carried with him all his life.  It was a life that took him far.

Andy was a Royal Marine who saw active service in Suez and Cyprus.  He was a Metropolitan policeman who once arrested one of the Kray twins – for traffic offences.  He went alone to arrest one of London’s most feared gangsters, Andy was afraid of no one.   He stood up to bullies, he was unbowed by threats.  He would not be told that he couldn’t do something.  He knew the difference between right and wrong.

But Andy was not defined by the Marines or the Met.  He was a man with a rich life, with a love of nature, a deep knowledge of plants and wildlife, and a sensitive and expressive artistic ability.  He found love, and he returned love.

Andy was complete within himself, but he was no island.  Andy was connected and saw the connections that link every living being.  His greatest gift was the ability to help others see those connections too.

Andy’s great achievement was his inner calm and tranquility.  He was a man who was at peace with himself.  He had a strength deep in his soul, a strength that he shared with those he loved, a strength and determination that was his gift to those who knew him.

andy3His happiest days were spent in Spain, sitting in the warm evenings on the balcony, a glass of wine in hand, his dog Lottie by his side, watching the sun go down over the mountains to the west, a smile of contentment on his face.

But it was Scotland that became his home.  It was in Scotland and amongst Scottish people that he found his family.  His last years were spent in Scotland, where he was accepted, and valued, where he felt safe and where he knew he would be cared for and loved.  His last conscious act was to cast his postal vote in the referendum, a few days before he passed away.  He voted for a Scotland that will stand up to bullies and will be unbowed by threats, a Scotland that will not be told it can’t, a Scotland that is complete within itself and at peace with itself, that knows the difference between right and wrong, a Scotland that knows how to love and how to care.

Faced with summing up a deep and beautiful and beloved man in a few short words, I have only silence and grief.  No vision through the tears, no music amongst the sobs.  There is no justice which can be done to him in a few paragraphs, no fine words can be enough.  All there is is the aching loss, the absence of a part of myself.  But I’ve learned the lessons he taught me, I have shared in his inner strength, I have learned to be complete within myself.  These are the things that Andy gave me, and I will treasure them like I treasure the precious bundle of memories of our time together.

His body has gone, he will be missed, he will be mourned.  His smile will only be seen again in photographs, his warm embrace felt only in the privacy of the mind.  But his spirit lives amongst and within.

Andy will always be with us, in a raindrop that falls in Carntyne, in the falling of a leaf, and in the branches of the rowan tree.

104 comments on “In memory of Andy

  1. claire says:

    beautiful, best wishes xx

  2. Rest in Peace Andy. You have been loved. Respect and condolences in your grief xx

  3. eva says:

    we have never met, Paul, but I am certain that you have done Andy great justice; every man dies, only some men truly live – you have both lived life and you will go on in a fulfilling life where Andy watches over you, always. May you find strength and immense hope in that knowledge.He will always be with you.

    • Mary says:

      May I agree with Eva’ comment. You have given your friend a great tribute and in not so many words, you have allowed us to almost know him. RIP Andy Kavanagh-Mosson. What a wonderful name.

      Look after that wee dog now.

  4. garyjc says:

    Paul and Andy – I hope beyond hope that we as a nation do the right thing next Thursday. If we do a large part of our success will be due to you and their will be no more fitting memorial. Let us build a country of compassion, tolerance and love for our fellow men and women, from whatever and wherever. All my love and best wishes now, and going forward X,

  5. antimodean says:

    RIP Andy. It says so much about a man that those who love him do so, at least in part, because they learn good things about the world from him. I hope people can say that about me when my time comes. Paul – you are also a teacher. Your open and heartfelt posts have taught me about grace and honesty and dignity – and when they are combined, they make me smile wrily, and make me search for that wee bit more courage and inner hope in difficult times. Thank you. You are a hero of my soul’s revolution!

  6. Andrea says:

    For some reason I have no idea why, your poignant memorial reminded me of the very old haunting song Nature Boy by Eden Ahbez and originally sung by Nat King Cole Song ( in the 40’s I think)

    There was a boy
    A very strange, enchanted boy
    They say he wandered very far, very far,
    Over land and sea.
    A little shy and sad of eye,
    But very wise was he.

    And then one day,
    One magic day he passed my way
    And while we spoke of many things
    Fools and Kings
    This he said to me:

    “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
    Is just to love and be loved in return.”

  7. Thank you for sharing your cherished memories with us.

  8. JimnArlene says:

    Simply beautiful.

  9. macart763 says:

    “Andy was complete within himself, but he was no island. Andy was connected and saw the connections that link every living being. His greatest gift was the ability to help others see those connections too.”

    Anyone who has come to this page or who has followed your writing, has come to know Andy. You have a lot of friends whom you and Andy have never met, yet who have learned to see those connections. That is a worthy legacy, to bring others together in peace and friendship in such a way that to come away they are a better person for having known of your story.

    You and Andy have certainly made one cynic a little less cynical and a little more caring.

    In peace and friendship.

  10. Calgacus says:

    R. I. P. Andy, l never met you but somehow feel as if I know you. Thank you Paul.

  11. hiorta says:

    Peace be with you Paul, in this sunny autumn day, this difficult day.

  12. Hazel Smith says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You have touched so many of us with your lovely words. I hope all goes well with you today.

    We’ll be thinking of you this afternoon as we continue our journey of hope, not fear to make our nation the kind of place we know it can be.

  13. No no no.Yes says:

    As always, touched by your words. Memories of good times together will help you through this difficult time. My thoughts are with you as we work to secure an independent country.
    Regards, Donald

  14. nancyburge says:

    Paul, all I can say is…no wonder you fell for him.
    Will be thinking of you today especially.

  15. David M says:

    Both of you were strangers when you came into our lives in the past months, we followed Andy’s struggle from afar. Thank you Paul for allowing us into both your lives. Your writings have been a huge inspiration I’m sure to us all. Thanks to you and others like you, this Thursday we embark on a very exciting new journey and Andy’s determination to enter that cross, has helped future generations on their way to what we all hope is a more just and fairer society.

  16. Steve Duncan says:

    Paul, you have been an inspiration to everyone who has read your blog. Andy would have been proud.
    Take today as it comes.
    Our wishes are with you and you will be in our thoughts.

    R.I.P. Andy.

  17. Exquisitely written as always
    Thoughts are with you today.
    I keep thinking of your record of Andy filling in his postal vote

  18. cearc says:

    Best wishes,

    Tomorrow is another day. Not better, not worse, not less painful but new.

  19. mogabee says:

    Beautiful Paul.

  20. Scottishdragon says:

    Beautiful eulogy for Andy. Thinking of you today.

  21. allypallykayak says:

    Lots of hugs. Remember the good times.

  22. Free at 63! says:

    Just beautiful, Paul. Thank you for sharing it with us. Will be thinking of you today and wish you strength. RIP Andy.

  23. Fairliered says:

    Wonderful eulogy, Paul.
    I feel as if I know Andy, even though I never met him.

  24. Paula Rose says:

    Will be thinking of you at midday, love and best wishes.

  25. Ishbel says:

    Just beautiful, thinking of you today

    Another stranger touched by your words

  26. Alison Crerar says:

    You have painted an exquisite cameo of Andy, so many of us will remember this wonderful man we never met. With you in spirit at noon.

  27. Jan Cowan says:

    How proud you must be to have had Andy’s friendship and love.

    Warm wishes to you, Paul, for this difficult day.

  28. fynesider2 says:

    Thank you Paul.

    Thank you Andy.

  29. Anne Lyden says:

    Thinking of you both today. Wishing you peace and strength and love.

  30. Coolheads Prevail says:

    Thinking of you both today

  31. my heart is with you. thank you for sharing. beautiful.

  32. Shirley Nott says:


  33. jamie macdonald says:

    Oh Paul, that was strong stuff,.. wonderful photos and the eulogy …. a true reflection of the depth of your emotion for Andy, WHAT A GUY! -Thanks to you both. With a lump in my throat, and blurred vision from tears, I wish you all the very best today mate, take care…

  34. Angela Bell says:


  35. A beautiful eulogy — it makes me very sad I never met Andy. May his memory live for a very long time!

  36. Carrig Mick says:

    Wow, handsome guy! Unfortunately, Irish girls still ‘have to flee’ Ireland to this day! Love & strength and thank you and Andy for making the world a better place x

  37. Marion Scott says:

    Thinking of you Paul this morning and wishing you strength for Andy’s funeral. RIP Andy.

  38. Michael Housman says:

    That is a beautiful, I am very moved by it. Thank you for sharing it and keep up the fight

  39. Capella says:

    Beautiful tribute to Andy. I hope you are buoyed up by the love sent to you by all of us who read your wonderful blog.

  40. Red Squirrel says:

    Thank you Andy and Paul for allowing us to welcome you into our home and into our hearts.
    Our vote on Thursday is all about hope and aspiration of how we want our country to be, not about the self-interest of big companies and greed.
    Paul your generous and thoughtful writing inspires us – thank you and best wishes today.

  41. K1 says:

    Beautiful eulogy, thinking of you on this day and as others have said wishing you strength and peace on this day.

  42. a Tearfully, heartwarming farewell Paul. Thoughts with you on this sad day

  43. Roboscot says:

    Rest in Peace

  44. Laura says:

    Paul, nothing I can say here except this: you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I’m here if you need anything. And one of my life’s biggest regrets is that I never met Andy. Loads of love xxx

  45. Caledonian Lass says:

    I’d never met Andy but, by looking at his photos, I can see what a handsome man he was.

    Your eulogy is a testament to his great strength of character, charisma and the love you had for each other. The wonderful memories you have of him will last forever.

    I’ll be thinking of you both at noon today.

    Love, Anne. x

  46. strathedin says:

    Moving and inspiring…thoughts with you at this very sad time. RIP Andy…

  47. Steve Bowers 74% win says:

    Such amazing words written through such grief, you are a man among men Paul, my humble condolences. XX

  48. Sue Varley says:

    Thinking of you now Paul and wishing you strength. Love and best wishes

  49. Luigi says:

    A wonderful eulogy, Paul. Thank you so much for sharing this with your extended, online family. I lost my dad a two years ago. I found that speaking about him, and the many fantastic memories helped me through the pain. With your formidable writing and poetic skills, I hope that you will also find comfort through expression, in the coming days and weeks. RIP Andy – he was obviously quite a guy!

  50. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful . RIP Andy.

  51. hektorsmum says:

    Andy was very handsome and he carried it into old age and that was a lovely eulogy.
    We are thinking of you today Paul.
    As a youngster I did not understand funerals, that people had funeral teas and drink. When I lost my father at age 36, he died of a heart attack so his death was very sudden, when we cremated him, I discovered how good it was to have the family round and to talk about him and about people in my family I never knew. Since then I have been to many a family funeral, some close some not so close, but I know Paul that your family will be helping you today as we are all helped by those closest to us.
    Andy has been made real to all of us through your writing, to finally see his face was wonderful. Helena and Andrew.

  52. Alan McHarg says:

    For Andy, for you and for Scotland, we will stand, we will hold, we will not flinch, we will look the bullies in the eye and we will win! x

  53. George Quin says:

    That was lovley mate a proper homage to a very decent man my confolances to you sir and please try to keep your head up i know its hard now but it will in time get easier my thoughts go out to you and your family.

    Wish you all the happieness in the world if it was mine to give.

  54. lorna cruickshank says:

    That was beautiful and so obviously heartfelt.Thinking of you today xxx

  55. Jonathan says:

    Let the light shine Paul. Nothing is lost for ever, just hidden slightly. Keep smiling and Andy’s love will shine through you.

  56. A beautiful eulogy. I admire you being able to carry on writing even at a time of grief. From your account it seems Andy was a wonderful man and I pray he’s in a better place. RIP

  57. JimnArlene says:

    Just got back from the service, it’s the first druid one I’ve been to. Thoughtful, simple and very moving. I hope to meet you and the not so wee ginger dug again in better circumstances.
    I was the one in the black kilt, in case you were wondering.

  58. Rory says:

    My heart goes out to you. Sounds like a terrific man. I’m glad you got to spend you life with him. All the best x

  59. Ye done well Paul, I think from your description of Andy, my idea of the Gael Duine-foghainteach well fits him, ” complete within himself”. I also attended a funeral today, another man worthy of the description… the close, they played “the Rowan tree”……The journey continues, they have only left us till we catch them up!

  60. sair fecht says:


  61. MoJo says:

    Beautiful …. thank you both….my heart goes out to you today and I hope that despite the sadness of loss you also have the opportunity to celebrate with all those who loved Andy a life well lived and all the good times that you have shared …..

  62. Alex Mckechnie says:

    Home is the hunter, home from hill
    the sailor home from the sea
    thoughts are with you each day will become better your memory will live on forever good times will return

  63. Alastair Ewen says:

    Condolences from Canada

  64. A Meringue says:

    It was a real privilege to be able to attend Andy’s funeral today.

    All the best!


  65. gwairhir says:

    Mewn heddwch. Yn meddwl amdanat.

  66. Iain says:

    What a beautiful man. You must be in agony, Paul. Best wishes.

  67. Nana says:

    Rest in peace Andy. I was thinking of you today Paul.

  68. Aileen says:

    Thanks for everything Andy. Cherished by a nation

  69. Hugh Wallace says:

    Beautifully said Paul. You were lucky to love Andy and to have him in your life. He was lucky to love you and have you in his. Peace to you both.


  70. Dave Sullivan says:

    Paul, I have followed your blog with great interest over the past few months and enjoyed all your posts, how I wish I could write as articulately .

    I am sorry for your loss

  71. WRH2 says:

    That was a wonderfully moving eulogy. It didn’t just bring tears to my eyes, but had them rolling down my cheeks. Don’t give up writing for us. We need your help to give us courage through this coming week. Thanks for your wonderful post.

  72. Laura says:

    Paul, your words have power to bring laughter, to give hope and to give strength, and today they painted a beautiful picture of a wonderful man that I would have been proud to have known. I’m glad to have met you and the dug at last, though I wish it had been under happier circumstances. All the best.

  73. bearinorkney says:

    Remember the good times. Treasure the memories and laugh at them when appropriate. To you he will always be alive in your memory and for those left behind what else do you or they have? It’s always hard for the bereaved. Chin up and go on with life, no matter how hard you might think it might be. It becomes better with the passage of time and there are, after all, the fond precious memories. Thinking of you.

  74. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Truly inspirational. I hope today has been one of pride as much as sadness for you Paul. I am only sorry I never met this wonderful man but, through your writing, in a way I already have…

  75. Justin Fayre says:

    You know greatness is a word bestowed oh so easily these days.
    True greatness is not defined, as modern day ‘Great Britain’ would have us believe, by the size of your bank balance. or your ability to bully and belittle.
    No true greatness is defined by the size of the contribution made to enrich your fellow citizens.
    Andy was a Great.

  76. Catherine says:

    A beautiful tribute.

  77. wwilmawatts says:

    There is a little button on this page that says, Press This- and I did- to my heart. X

  78. JGedd says:

    It was a beautiful day and a moving and loving farewell to Andy. Everyone there felt it. Our thoughts are with you as you begin life without him. Cherished in memory, he is still part of the adventurous journey he took with you all those years ago. I wish I had known him.

  79. purplebadger says:

    One word came to mind during that eulogy, and it was “beautiful”, but I see lots of other people said that already and I have nothing more apt than that.

    Truly you loved him deeply, and I’m so sorry for your loss. X.

  80. Moving words and photos that told a little part of the story of the person you loved, and which captured for us a fleeting glimpse of the man. Hope you found comfort in having family and friends around you at this sad time. The thoughts of those of us who were unable to be there were with you.

    Come Friday morning, if Yes wins, then you’ll have the additional comfort and pride in knowing that Andy’s vote help us past the winning line.

  81. Oneironaut says:

    Reading this, I wanted to say something. Like I have all these words in your head, but they seem so meaningless when I actually type them out, so I just delete them in frustration and start over again…

    I can only echo the thoughts of others on here. From the way you spoke of Andy, I really wish I could have met him at least once, heard the stories of his life, learned those lessons you spoke of.

    Wishing you all the best…

  82. lizann75 says:

    Simply lovely. A beautiful soul always shines the brightest xx

  83. Thank you for sharing a little of your lives with us. As much as you were lucky to find and love such a remarkable human being so he was lucky to find someone like you. Your compassion, humanity and loving heart shines through your words. May you find comfort and peace to see how many who have never met either of you, care about you both and share your grief.

  84. Mark says:

    Beautiful tribute Paul. I almost feel like I know both of you just reading your blogs because you have shared so much with us. RIP Andy!

  85. wendy smillie says:

    Like Oneironaut i can’t really express what i want to- i don’t have your talent with words, Paul. But i am thinking of you in these dark times, and wish you all the strength you need to get through. We are all standing with you.

  86. No a fearty says:

    I have read your posts with admiration,inspiration and respect for your amazing writing skills but never commented before .I wanted to let you know that yesterday afternoon 4 of us stood in the sun and tied some tartan ribbon round our rowan tree and toasted Andy and yourself, despite having never met you or Andy we have all felt as though we have shared your journey in both tears and laughter, you have helped us all in this campaign. We should all march to the polling stations with our heads held high singing I’m no a fearty.

  87. Vestas says:

    You really have been through the wringer & no mistake Paul.

    You’re due some good things happening to you. Hopefully Thursday will be the start of those good things.

  88. Morag Frame says:

    What a wonderful man he was. Generosity to the end; casting his postal vote to give freedom for Scotland. Stay strong wee dug.

  89. MolliBlum says:

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Even for those of us who never knew him personally, and who never had the privilege of meeting him. he is now in our hearts, and we’ll be raising a glass (or two) to him on the 19th of September.

  90. Teri says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Paul. I feel very privileged to have been permitted to read it.

  91. M says:

    A beautiful eulogy for a beautiful man. Thinking of you.

  92. Devereux says:

    Much love to you Paul- for being a symbol of the Scotland we feel in our hearts.

  93. smiling vulture says:

    amazing life-thx for sharing

  94. Jeannie says:

    Andy sounds like such a lovely man, Paul. He’s made quite an impression on me, though I never met him. Thanks for that x

  95. sjmosst says:

    Paul, it has been years since we’ve talked. You and Andy were still in Spain and I was off to do a project with the US Army Corps of Engineers in the high desert. Life gets busy. Years pass. customary communication venues go extinct, people move and time marches on. This morning I greeted the sun rising over the South Pacific north of Auckland in the shadow of a volcano. I lit a small fire to ward off the morning chill, made a cup of tea and lit a cigarette and sat to read news on Facebook, the Evil Empire. Your blog on Scotland appeared in my news-feed. I read your delightful prose then browsed your wordpress article list and it was mournfully shocking to read today of Andy’s death, I can not begin to imagine your sense of loss and words will only fall short in that arena. I wish you well, my friend.

  96. Aalan Brooks says:

    Worked with Andy in the East End at Bow Police Station, Last saw him at a Police Retirement function in the late 80s. A man of honour, and a good friend, very sad to discover his passing but happy to see he had a loving relationship in his twilight years. You meet many people as a London Copper a lot you do not remember but the outstanding ones you do, Andy was one of the outstanding ones..

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