Was he Murdered by Idi Amin and Why did he go Missing?

My father, Robert (Bob) Scanlon went murderedormissing (MoM) in Uganda in 1977. This was during the Idi Amin years. I just wonder does any one out there have any information which might help to discover what happened to him and why?



  1. Hi Cherie
    We were just talking about that evening when you were told about your father. Kate was sitting next to you in chapel when Delve came and said she wanted to talk to you. Louise was remembering how we sat and watched the news that night in total disbelief. What we can’t remember is what happened to you. Did you go to the san that night? We thought you had left school.
    Thinking of you……
    Were you Al 11? We are trying to remember!!! xxxxxxxxx

    • I was taken to Miss Thompson’s office and sat down and told that my father had been arrested. I knew instinctively that I would never see him again. Delve put her arm around me. I wanted her not to touch me. It was so horrible, my heart is racing thinking about it. They said they thought it better if I didn’t go back to the house because they didn’t want the other girls to be disrupted. They said I should go and stay with Miss Thompson. I went and was given a room of my own. I was so lonely. They gave me, or tried to give me tranquilizers. I am crying now just remembering how awful it was. I was Al 11.

      • Hello Cherie – you did eventually go to the San because I was in the room opposite you. I’ve never forgotten the story you told me about how your father went missing. You cried a great deal that night and I remember feeling so so sad for you.
        My father was a terribly important figure in my life at that point as my mother was severely ill.
        I remember trying to imagine what it must be like for you & as we were so young it was hard to fully comprehend
        Miss Collier (Collyweed) came & caught me in your room & punished be for being there after lights out!
        I also remember – a few days later – you told me that the media had arrived at the school (obviously looking for a story)
        Over the years I’ve often wondered if you ever managed to discover what really happened to your dad.
        Tonight I thought of it again & thought I’d leave a message – just to let you know we were all terribly sad for you at the time & ever since.
        I can see that even up until 2011 you were still searching for the truth. I hope that someone out there has given you & your family at least SOME peace of mind.
        I can see that you’re a Nurse – me also – but I don’t think that the Nurses at the San were much cop!! I had pneumonia at the time I was with you & they certainly failed to diagnose that!!!

        Kind Regards,

        Angela Hughes

  2. The comment in italics (5 lines) ‘This is comical but it shows you to what extent these British people will go to get what they want’. Is totally out of context.

    The British men had no choice, were told they had to escort/carry the chair or a few of them would be killed! It did not matter who did the carrying/escorting just that they were British. How do I know! I am his eldest sister and he told me himself. They all met; not one of them wanted to do this so they drew ‘straws’! The one’s doing the carrying were the unfortunate ones, but it was not worth any of them getting killed for! No it was not ‘comical’ it was absolutely terrifying for each and everyone of them! They were all very BRAVE to do it! Bear in mind the British Government did absolutely nothing to help them and none of them had done anything wrong to anyone British or Ugandan! They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time!

    Idi Amin will always be remembered for the monster he surely was! However, we met many ordinary Ugandans whilst on holiday there and they were just like ourselves, friendly with everyone.

    I remember the houseboy; the gardener, and the AYAY (NOT SURE IF THAT IS THE RIGHT NAME FOR THE PERSON WHO LOOKED AFTER THE CHILDREN). They were all pleasant and when I came down with malaria I could not have been taken care of any better than they looked after me. I will never forget them!

  3. What a sad story. I was born in Uganda, and I remember the time your father was killed. I was there (in Uganda) at the time.

    • Yes it is a sad story and as yet it is not finished, I am still searching for the answers to my questions… and trying to find my father’s remains

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