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Tragic death of Countess of Sutherland's grandson

By Staff Reporter

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Sutherland’s leading family has been plunged into mourning following the tragic death of one of its members.

Jamie Janson has died aged 44. He was the son of Martin Janson and his wife Mary Ann, and the grandson of 98-year-old Elizabeth Sutherland, Countess of Sutherland.

The family seat is at Dunrobin Castle and Mr Janson senior is the twin brother of Lord Strathnaver.

The Janson family home in Sutherland is at Uppat House, outside Brora.

Speaking to a national newspaper, Mr Janson senior is reported as saying: “As a family we are all devastated and do not want to talk about the circumstances.

“It is tragic and something we are all trying to deal with.”

Mr Janson added that the funeral would take place at Dunrobin Castle.

A post on the castle’s Facebook page states that the building and grounds are closed tomorrow “in order for the family to hold a private function”.

Mr Janson gave an interview in May 2017 to the Northern Times about his son, who was the eldest of five brothers.

He told how Jamie had had a varied career before finding his niche as a volunteer aid worker.

He worked in the Calais Jungle for a number of years, teaching English to young refugees and his father spoke about his natural affinity with young people.

Early in 2017, Jamie spent some time at Belgrade, Serbia, where he taught English to Afghani children. He went on to the southern Turkish border where he got a visa to Iraq.

He then made his way to Erbil in Iraqui Kurdistan and joined forces with an informal group of young people who had got together to distribute fresh water to Mosul.

A keen writer, Jamie blogged about his experience on the website CAPX.

He also regularly sent his family photographs via a mobile phone app.

His father paid tribute to the work his son undertook to “protect the underdog” and his readiness to “help starving people”.

However, according to newspaper reports covering his death, Jamie allegedly decided to take up arms following his experiences in Mosul and is said to have joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) to help fight Isis in 2017.

In an phone interview, he said: “Making the transition from aid worker to fighter was a very difficult one for me. Going from volunteering into a situation where you are holding a gun didn’t come naturally.”

He was detained under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act on his arrival back in the UK in May last year but was eventually released on bail and it is understood that he was never charged with an offence.

He was living in London at the time of his death earlier this month.

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