- Contributed by
- People in story:
- John (Jock)William Mair
- Location of story:
- Scotland and North Atlantic
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 06 July 2005
This is a request for information more than a story, my father was what can best be described as a taciturn Scot; he never used two words when one would do.
I remember being sent home from school aged 7 with a project, it was ‘What my parents did in the war’ my Mother was easy enough to get a response from, she was in the auxiliary fire brigade, and had photographs of her in a team, pushing a huge hand operated fire pump around the streets of Brighton, and she was full of stories of nights spent on fire watch, both humorous and sad; my Father however was a different matter, all he would say was that he spent a lot of time on water, and he would never expand on it. My mother filled in by telling me that for my project I should say he was in the merchant navy, I duly did and didn’t ask again, it wasn’t until his funeral many years later that several people, including his family, came out with different stories.
(1) He had served as a commando?
(2) He was posted to the Highlands and spent time there as a trainer?
(3) That as he came from a fishing family he joined the merchant navy and took part in at least one Atlantic convoy?
The only thing they all agreed upon was that HE had never told anyone directly how his war had been spent, all the information they had between them had been gathered from common acquaintances over the years, who had said they either served with him or knew someone that had.
I have never been able to find any trace of a service record, and he left no papers or wartime photographs behind, his direct family in Scotland were adamant he had served in a branch of the forces, though as I stated previously they were at odds over which branch, and I have to admit to feeling frustrated.
Anyone who may possibly be able to shed any light/offer information of any description their help would be most welcome.
Name: John (Jock)William Mair.
Born 1923 in Seatown Cullen in Banffshire on the Moray Firth
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