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Alan Crombie was born in Dumfries on the 23rd of November 1895, the youngest of four children of Elizabeth Jane (née McIlraith) and Alan Burgess Crombie, an architect. Crombie attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1912 to 1914 as a full time student of architecture and again from 1920 to 1921. Crombie's uncle and grandfather were also architects and his brother, Steuart Phyn and possible relative Wilfred Fitzalan Crombie, also from Dumfries, are also commemorated on the GSA Roll of Honour. Whilst studying, he undertook an apprenticeship to Lieper and McNab. During the First World War, Crombie served as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Highlanders 3rd battalion. This battalion was a reserve unit based in Perth until they moved to Ireland in 1917. After the war, Crombie completed his training with Burnet, Son & Partners and attended evening classes. In May 1921, he travelled to Italy for a year before working as an assistant for Harold Ridley Hooper in Ipswich. He was admitted ARIBA in 1923 and worked Aberdeen and Dublin before setting up his own practice in Colvend until the outbreak of World War 2. An Alan Crombie with the same date of birth is noted to have died in Essex in December 1976, aged 81. Crombie is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.
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Sources: Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.co.uk; Scotland's People: scotlandspeople.gov.uk; The Dictionary of Scottish Architects 1840-1980: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=203177; The London Gazette: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29262/page/8027/data.pdf