He was a gun-carrying firebrand who served time with hard labour in Wormwood Scrubs, helped broker the USA’s involvement in the Second World War and evaded the grasp of Neo-Nazis.

He was also Glasgow’s Lord Provost and a knight of the realm.

These are just some of the many lives of Patrick Dollan.

One of 13 siblings, Dollan was born and raised in Baillieston. He attended St Bridget’s school but left at the age of ten to work in the local grocer’s.

He later followed his father down the mines (an experience he described as “like sliding into Purgatory”) and took evening classes, where he developed a talent for writing.

He wrote about mining for the Evening Times under the pseudonym Myner Collier and, as he became more involved in the labour movement, joined the Independent Labour Party newspaper Forward.

This background – combining a practical grasp of detail alongside journalistic flair – formed the basis for Dollan’s political career. He was elected to Glasgow Corporation in 1913, representing Govan, and remained in municipal politics until his retirement in 1946, believing that the local arena offered more opportunity to affect real change, compared with Westminster.

He had a prominent role in the 1915 rent strikes, and his opposition to the First World War led led to a prison sentence of 112 days. After the war Dollan held a number of key positions within the Corporation and gained a reputation for pulling the levers in the local Labour “machine”. In 1938 he was elected Lord Provost, becoming the first person from an Irish-Catholic background to hold the office.

Dollan was an enthusiastic ambassador for Glasgow , energetically promoting the city internationally, including a high-profile visit to New York in 1939. When war broke out soon after, Dollan became an enthusiastic supporter, encouraging Glaswegians to enlist in order to defeat fascism.

This “U-turn” drew criticism, as did the knighthood he accepted for war services in 1941. It also led to Neo-Nazi death threats many years later, according to Dollan, who revealed he once carried a revolver: not in any official capacity but “in my capacity as Pat Dollan. He was more important.”

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Dollan claimed to be the first man in Europe to know America would join the war effort, when Winston Churchill asked him to schmooze with one of President Roosevelt’s closest advisers, Harry Hopkins, in Glasgow in 1941. After leaving front-line politics Dollan remained active in public life, playing a key role in the development of East Kilbride where the swimming pool bears his name. A colourful, often controversial figure, there have been few more influential Glasgow politicians than Sir Patrick Dollan.