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Sandy's War Memories

by kirriemuir_library

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People in story: 
Sandy Crowe
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14 July 2004

This story is submitted to the People's War site by Aileen May, volunteer of Kirriemuir Library, on behalf of Mr Sandy Crowe, and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and comditions.

I am Sandy Crowe, a retired mails manager with the Post Office. I was born in Alyth, in 1929. I spent my early childhood with my parents and sister in Glenisla. In April 1938 my father died. My family lived in Alyth for one year, then in 1939, my mother, sister and I moved to Kirriemuir, where we lived with my maternal grandparents, until my mother got a home of her own in the town. My mother was a weaver in the local jute factory.

I was 10 years old when World War 2 broke out; I remember the Polish soldiers coming to Kirriemuir and British troops being stationed in the town.

If a siren went off when we were in class, we were sent home. I recall my sister looked after another, younger child, and she used to escort her home when the siren sounded.

I remember we used to collect spagnum moss, and take it to the Red Cross for use in dressings. I recall that Cortachy Castle, near kirriemuir, was used as a hospital in wartime. I believe the patients were British troops. They wore blue uniforms.

Tall poles were erected in all the flat fields in the area to prevent them being used by the enemy for landing planes.

I left school in 1943, aged fourteen and a half. I worked as a telegram/messenger boy for the Post Office. I rode a bicycle when doing my deliveries. If I had to deliver a serious telegram from the War Office the postmaster instructed me to make the delivery to the father of the household rather than the mother - it was most likely to contain bad news.

A Local Defence Volunteer used to march up and down in front of the Post Office, armed with a gun.

I had a cousin who was in the Merchant Navy. In 1943 his ship was torpedoed in the Pacific. He spent three weeks in a lifeboat in the ocean before reaching Ceylon. When he came on land he was arrested because it was thought he maybe an enemy.

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