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16 October 2014
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Scotland in the War
There are 19 messages in this section.

Jim Fraser (Duffy) from Australia. Posted 22 Oct 2002.
I was born in 1938 and can remember the Luftwaffe dropping bombs on us near Dalmarnock Power Station. We played with all the US gliders and got chocolate and gum from the yank trucks dropping off supplies to the power station. The ack ack guns there were very noisy. It was awful when our windows and doors were blown off due to bomb blasts. Our noses would bleed and we had terrible ringing in the ears. Dad was in North Africa fighting Rommel... thank God he came home. Although I did not know him. G'day cobblers.
   
David. Posted 31 Oct 2002.
G'day to you Jim how are you matie? You've been in Aus a few years now. How are you likin' it over there? Did you leave UK in the 60's I was nearly there myself in 1969. Given a choice would you stay in Aus. or come back to UK?? What are the differences in living in Aus to UK? And for any newcomers thinking of emigrating to your country will they be welcome. Hope to hear from you soon Davie

Maurice Mallon. Posted 14 Nov 2002.
I was born in Dumbarton in 1944, so I don't remember much of the war but I do remember the post war effects.
The Luftwaffe bombed Clydebank with their target being the shipyards. They missed the shipyards but destroyed many homes on Glasgow Road. The Civil Defence set grass fires at night in the hills above Clydebank to draw the bombers away from the shipyards and Clydebank. This was very successful and saved the shipyards but not the residential areas of the town. To this day, Clydebank Golf Course in the Hardgate above Clydebank has many large bomb craters which have become natural hazards on the golf course.
Reconstruction took many years after the war and I clearly rember the bombed out homes and tenement buildings.
The shipyards in those war days were a hotbed of communism & socialism. I remember the grafitti on the bombed out buildings..
"2nd front now"
"Yanks go home"
I live in Canada now and was completely suprised when a German member at my golf club stated that the Luftwaffe had never bombed Scotland. Be assured that I set him straight, that they bombed Clydebank, Glasgow and Aberdeen. I remember the ration books for everything, food, butter, chocolate, fruit, furniture. But if you had money (which of course we had none) then the blackmarket could provide anything.
Shipyard workers were "essential skills" and were able to avoid the draft if they chose to do so. Many chose to go and fight. I worked at John Brown Engineering in Clydebank in 1968 before moving to Canada. It was a fine company with a very positive attitude which I believe owed its roots to their powerful WWII contribution to the war effort.

Jim Fraser from Darwin N.T. Oz. Posted 20 Jan 2003.
Davie, please accept my apologies for my lack of communication...I was born 1938...Bridgeton, Glesca'. I emigrated here in 1969 and finally became an oz citizen in 1978. I love Scotia, Dave, albeit it is akin to being in love with 2 women at the same time (should I be so lucky). To answer your question...NO! Icould never live in Scotland again...too cold...call it the been there done that syndrome. My sister, a teacher, was here recently on holiday...the wide expanses and 'laid back lifestyle' just blew her away. The weather is 'great' one day, and better the next. I could not go back to chains on my wheels and 1cwt of sand in the back of my stationwagon again...frozen pipes, and the rest. If u know anyone who is contemplating emigrating to Oz...'Ring me thingway!'
Cheers Davie, keep in touch,

Now, Maurice Mallon howzitgoan my old china? You know in WW1 German Graf Zepplins bombed the hell out of Edinburgh, etc. In WW11, the Luftwaffe bombed the Western Isles. When I was stationed at Portknockie rt/df (civvy digs) the 'then' railwaymaster told me of a German aircraft that was shot down by fighters of RAF Dyce (Aberdeen). Apropos to this Maurice, the oberleutnant had been studying at Aberdeen Uni and was picked because of his knowledge of the land. His mission was to bomb the viaduct near Cullen...the only rail connection to Inverness and the north. Another Luftwaffe Zerstorer was shot into the sea near Buckie...much later, the same aircraft wreck was brought to the surface by a Seine Net trawler, much to the horror of the crew! Result?...the trawler had to be burned, as no one would sail on her again. Yippity! Yippity! that's all folks....cheers!

Donald Auld from Mississauga, Canada. Posted 16 Jan 2006.
I lived at 83 Sunnybank street during the war and as far as I know it was a land mine that was dropped by parachute. It llanded on allan street just missing the power station the intended target.

Linda from Leeds. Posted 13 Jan 2006.
hello, anyone out there from around Summerfield Street, my gran lived there, I was born in
Woodrop Street round the corner. My gran lived in the tenement buidings in Summerfield Street and I have enjoyable memories on visiting her when I was a child, not having a front door she was always in the window. It was the way of socialising - she had a time of day for sitting there and was amazed how, on the top floor of the building, gran still knew the local gossip. Others in thier own tenements sat at their windows waving and shouting hello. In the close a visiting gran would whistle and it echoed up the close to tell gran it was them. Anyone else recall these memories?

Jim Duffy from Newark, Delaware. U.S.A.. Posted 13 Jan 2006.
My father, Thomas H. Duffy (was a journeyman boilermaker prior to war at John Brown), joined the British army in 1914 when war was declared.Spent 3 plus yrs in the France trenches, became sgt. Major then became first officer to not buy his purse. He was in victory parade in Paris then spent a year Autrian occupation force with 10th Bn. Tank Corps.Tommy Armour Sr was a fellow officer at that time. His mother lived through WW2 blitz in apartment that was never hit directly just across from the Clyde. Amazing. She refused air raid shelters during raids.

Douglas Smith from Vancouver, BC. Canada. Posted 12 Sep 2003.
I was born in Dunbar in 1938 but when the war started we were in Rosyth as my dad worked at the Naval Dockyard there. I believe the very first Luftwaffe raid was aimed at the Forth Bridge and the Dockyard with the bombs landing only yards from where we lived.
My dad quickly moved my mother and I back to Dunbar. However we still were'nt all that safe as the returning German planes, driven off without dropping their bombs, would unload them on the Edinburgh/London rail line right behind our house. They all missed us and the railway but made some nice craters for the bairns and dugs to play in.

My upbringing in Scotland was the best that any lad could hope for.
Would I go back? Not on your life!! The reasons I'll keep to myself - out of politeness.

ralph edwards from peterhead scotland. Posted 7 Jun 2004.
I remember my gran telling me that the tip and run bombing of the north east of scotland never stopped and Peterhead and Fraserburgh faced nearly daily air raids although they were bombed badly from 1940-43.
In one raid on Peterhead a tenement with 6 families recieved a direct hit - 35 people died and in a packed pub in the broch (Fraserburgh) 40 died in all. Every bomb hitting these small towns killed someone. My gran was bombed out twice in one month . I just thought i would inform you and to say that although Aberdeen never experienced the mass raids of Glasgow and the Clyde she was still the most bombed city in Scotland with over 30 raids and hundereds of dead and injured.

Ruthie from Melbourne Australia. Posted 15 Mar 2005.
Hi everyone,
My Step-Dad, Hugh, who grew up during WWII in Aberdeenshire, asked me to surf the web for a date & time of the bombing of Smithfield High School in Aberdeen. Can anyone help with this?

Brian Harwood from Aberdeen. Posted 3 May 2006.
Reference to Ruthie from Melbourne, Australia - Smithfield school was not bombed as this school was built just after the war. There was another school in the same area bombed and that was Middlefield school which was badly damaged in a bombing raid on the 21/04/1943.

James Fraser from Darwin, Australia. Posted 4 Apr 2005.
In 1958 whilst stationed in RAF Amman, Jordan, with RAF Air traffic control, now 'ear this!
I was on duty in a RT/DF truck on a hill named VHF hill above the airfield. We had an electrical umbilical running from the base up to us. One day I had a visit from some bedouins, whom I had befriended. I plugged my electrical kettle on to make them tea. everything went fine until the kettle boiled.
The bedouins had not seen electricity at work and they went ballistic: they drew knives, etc. and I reached for my sten-gun. After much hand signals and some arabic, things calmed down and they did have their tea. One of the older arabs told me that they thought it was the devil's work! Salaam.

Ian McLaren from Grangemouth. Posted 5 Apr 2005.
Hi all, the attempted bombing of Dalmarnock power Station (now long gone) resulted in an area of derelict ground opposite where the Cinema was in Summerfield Street. I used to play there as a child, blissfully unaware of just why the area was derelict. My 'Da told me why.

Danny from Canada. Posted 13 Jan 2006.
Ian Mclaren's words bring back memories of the strathies: we lived at 27 summerfield street and got the backlash from the bombs that dropped in Allan street behind the herry work. I remember the plaster falling off the ceiling. I was taken to riverside school til the air raids were over. But the fun was knocking down the shelters around 1947 and killing all the flies on the white painted walls of the strathies after watching the mystery riders.

Fred, from California, U.S.A.. Posted 13 Mar 2006.
My father during world war II at one time was billeted in Eaglesham where Hess parachuted down. He got the old high back chair Hess sat in when the farmer escorted him with a pitch fork to his house where he held him until the police arrived. My father later brought that chair to our house in Glasgow. (I forgot to say the reason he got the chair was because the farmer would not sit in it again.)
Anyway in later years we immigrated to Canada (1952,I was 20 years old) and since we had sold all our furniture for a few nights I had no bed. So I sawed the back of that chair off and used it as single bed. It would probably been worth money but I just left it for the trash.

Ella Cochrane from Canada. Posted 16 Oct 2006.


I remember WWII very clearly. I am now 77, and I remember the air raid siren sounding night after night in Glasgow.
I was 10 years old when WWII began, and was a teenager at 16 when it ended. Many of my school friends were evacuated to Aberdeen. and when they returned home after the war, they had Aberdonian accents, and we couldn't understand a word they said. :-)

We lived in Maryhill,Glasgow, and life continued the following day after the air raids. On our way home from school, we often walked past craters where homes once stood. It was all part of our daily life. The large barrage balloons in the sky to thwart enemy planes were christened
"Big Bella" and we sang a song called "Bella The Barrage Balloon."

I went off to school one morning and when I got there it was almost flattened to the ground from the previous night's air raid. The Chapel beside it was also gone. I was brought up in a Catholic school, and had to finish my education in a Protestant school. I thought it was really nice of them to shared their school with us.

We never enjoyed being in the red brick air raid shelters in the back garden, provided by the Glasgow corporation. People would light a charcoal fire, and the fumes made me sick, so we opted for staying in our top floor apartment, where my father and I would look out the window and watch the searchlights, and hear the bombs dropping. My father would say to me..."They're after John Brown's shipyard in Clydebank. The Germans never hit the shipyard, but they sure did a good job of bombing many homes in Clydebank.

Our school teachers reminded us Germany was also being bombed, and this didn't make me feel any better. A beaitiful city called Dresdern had suffered just recently. Our teacher told us the German schoolchildren were as helpless as we were; that we had no control over anything; that war was senseless. She was so right!

I thought life had a funny way of dealing with all of us. I was having a rock garden installed in my home in Canada, and the best landscapers in the small village I lived in were Germans. They were coming at 9:00 am one morning, and as I wakened up, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was 40 odd years after WWII getting out of my bed once more for the Germans. This time they were going to dig large holes in my garden, not bomb it. My doorbell rang, and I opened it, and two tall handsome Germans greeted me with a smile. "I'm Herman, and he's Herman," said the younger one with a smile. They made a beautiful job of this rock garden, and off and on I would bump into the younger Herman here and there in the town.

I thought to myself, WWII is all in the past, and wondered how I would have felt if I had opened the door to two Germans 40 odd years ago (?).

Ray from New Zealand. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
I have just read ,with great interest , the fifteen letters on this forum , relating to German bombing over Scotland during World War 2.
This subject is currently in the news ( June /July 2006 ):
People have been writing letters to a local newspaper in Scotland on the subject.
Not all letter-writers agree that certain bombings ever took place ,at least in their neck of the woods.
The letters can be read on-line at THE NORTHERN SCOT web site.
My interest in the newspaper letters lies in the fact that my Grandparent's farm was a recipient of a bomb-drop.
Five years ago a cousin of mine ,in Scotland ,wrote :" I do remember having a holiday at Mulben ( Banffshire ) with our Grandparents - why that stays in my mind so vividly is because a bomb was dropped on that croft , and I took some shrapnel home as a souvenir . "

Ray from New Zealand. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
I note that this interesting thread , 'Scotland in the War',appears in the 'New Life' Forum.
Could I draw the attention of readers and contributors , to the Forum 'Home Front & Wartime'
There you will find some other interesting stories

Lorraine Prentice from France. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
Hi, Donald Was your mum's name Maisie and did you have a brother John and a sister Marion? I lived at 77 and remember playing on the bomb site in alan st.




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