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Brass, William [Bill] (1921–1999), demographer and statistician, was born in Edinburgh on 5 September 1921, the only son and second of the three children of John Brass (1892–1962), engineer, and his wife, Margaret Tait, née Haig (1893–1968), dressmaker. Family circumstances were not easy: his father was gassed in the First World War and never fully recovered. Compulsory attendance at Presbyterian services during childhood had no enduring effect, although the other family commitment, to the ...