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My Wartime Memories in Glasgow

by peter-mariner

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Peter J.R. Manson, Mrs. Muriel A.A. Manson, Captain Roger G. Manson, Royal Engineers.
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Contributed on: 
05 June 2004

I was born in July 1942, so that my personal memories of the 2nd. World War are few and hazy. However, I do remember certain events clearly.
For me the war years were spent, with my mother, in our house in Bearsden, near Glasgow. The first thing I remember is being carried down to the gate to wave goodbye to someone, probably my grand parents, who lived not far away. It was a warm, sunny summer day and, in the distance at the end of our road, grey clad figures could be seen working in the fields. I can clearly remember someone saying that these were Italian prisoners of war bringing in the harvest.
I knew about MTBs and "ducks" from an early age. The term "duck" stood for what was officially designated DUKW, an amphibious transport vehicle. From our dining room window I used to watch MTB and DUKW hulls being towed out of the builder's yard across the road. From building houses, they had been switched to building wooden boats.
By far the most memorable event, and a life-changing one for me, occurred after the war was over. Dressed in a new camel coat, I travelled in a taxi with my mother to Buchanan Street Station in Glasgow. A large number of khaki clad figures milled about on the platforms. One of these, with an officer's cap on his head and three pips on each shoulder, came forward through the crowd to meet us. In the taxi, on the way back home, I sat on his knee. My father, who had been in North Africa and Italy for most of my young life and who I had no recollection of ever seeing, had been demobbed.

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