Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:11 pm

Dugald wrote:Glasgow's Day of Infamy (67 years ago today).

When they reached the corner of Crossloan Rd. and Uist St. in Govan, where Meschi's fish & chip shop was located, they noticed a great crowd of people standing around the closed door, at which a policeman stood. From across the road a passing soldier shouted something over at the policeman and the policeman took off after him. A woman ran into the nearby close and reappeared shortly with a key with which she opened the door to the Italian fish & chip shop. When the door was opened a horde of yelling children, myself included , rushed in over the sawdust-covered floor.

I clearly recall jumping over the counter and grabbing as many bottles of pop as I could carry. Once I had the bottles I couldn't get out again fast enough. There were cold fish-suppers all over the place and salt shakers were being thrown from one side of the shop to the other. The place was in an uproar. I did eventually manage to get out with my loot as did all my pals and we scooted off down the street leaving the ever-growing howling mob fighting over whatever was left in the shop. We, and others, scoffed the pop, and took the empty bottles back to another shop for the deposits.


And from the later topic on the Andorra Star Memorial

Dugald wrote:I don't think building a memorial in Rome would be out of context because the ship was sunk in a war in which Italy was involved, and because some of the victims in the disaster were Italian, and because the intent to build a memorial stems from Italian people. Now could you go a wee bit beyond the Mearnskirk Hospital bit, as to why it should be built in Glasgow?


Because Dugald :

Abruzzese, Giocondino 26.08.1875 Filignano (IS) Glasgow S
Agostini, Oliviero 29.04.1904 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Angiolini, Domenico Giuseppe 15.03.1900 Genova (GE) Glasgow S
Avella, Alfonso 04.07.1889 Tirreni (PI) Glasgow S
Battistini, Umberto 23.05.1899 Stazzema (LU) Ayr S
Belmonte, Gaetano 16.09.1876 Cassino (FR) Edinburgh S
Beltrami, Alessandro 20.12.1874 Egypt Glasgow S
Bertolini, Vincenzo Silvio 14.06.1876 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Biagi, Luigi 16.04.1898 Gallicano (LU) Ayr S
Biagioni, Ferdinando 06.07.1895 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Biagioni, Francesco 06.03.1897 Castelnuovo G. (LU) Rothesay S
Biagioni, Umberto 23.04.1878 Castelnuovo G. (LU) Glasgow S
Biagiotti, Carlo 04.06.1877 Pistoia (PT) Glasgow S
Biagiotti, Nello 25.02.1893 Pistoia (PT) Glasgow S
Bonati, Alfonso 02.07.1893 Riccò Del Golfo (SP) Glasgow S
Camillo, Giuseppe 04.10.1882 S.Cosmo (LT) Glasgow S
Chiappelli, Oraldo 14.05.1920 Pistoia (PT) Glasgow S
Ciarli, Vittorio 31.07.1897 Quagneto (NA) Edinburgh S
Cimorelli, Giovanni 23.06.1875 Montaquila (IS) Edinburgh S
Copolla, Philip 07.01.1895 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Coppola, Paolo 05.09.1878 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Cosomini, Giovanni 03.15.1880 Barga (LU) Bellshill S
Crolla, Alfonso 24.05.1888 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Crolla, Donato 07.09.1880 Paris Edinburgh S
D'Ambrosio, Silvestro 30.12.1872 Picinisco (FR) Hamilton S
D'Annunzio, Antonio 22.09.1905 Villa Latina (FR) Glasgow S
D'Inverno, Francesco 17.04.1901 Villa Latina (FR) Ayr S
Da Prato, Silvio 27.02.1878 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Dalli, Pietro 10.10.1893 ? ? Ayr S
De Marco, Lorenzo 05.02.1885 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
De Marco, Pasquale 10.04.1898 Caserta (CE) Glasgow S
Del Grosso, Giuseppe 20.04.1889 Borgotaro (PR) Hamilton S
Delicato, Carmine 17.02.1900 Atina (FR) Edinburgh S
Di Ciacca, Aristide 06.10.1920 Picinisco (FR) Glasgow S
Di Ciacca, Cesidio 20.10.1891 Picinisco (FR) Cockenzie S
Di Luca, Pietro 29.09.1873 Rochetta al Volturno (IS) Glasgow S
Di Marco, Mariano 24.11.1897 Cassino (FR) Hamilton S
Di Vito, Giuseppe 25.11.1874 Casalattico (FR) Crossgates S
Farnocchi, Francesco 09.06.1906 Stazzema (LU) Glasgow S
Felloni, Giulio 25.03.1905 Parma (PR) Aberdeen S
Ferrari. Francesco 19.08.1899 Zignago ? Port Glasgow S
Ferrari. Guido 01.09.1893 Valdena (PR) Kirkcaldy S
Ferri, Fiorentino 22.01.1886 Filignano (IS) Bellshill S
Filippi, Mario 15.03.1910 Castelnuovo G. (LU) Ayr S
Filippi, Simone 26.10.1878 Pieve (LU) Ayr S
Fontana, Giovanni 18.07.1892 Frassinoro (MO) Carlisle S
Frattcroli, Giacinto 06.09.1900 Picinisco (FR) Ayr S
Fusco, Giovanni Antonio 03.09.1877 Cassino (FR) Dundee S
Gallo, Emilio 20.11.1896 Belmonte (FR) Edinburgh S
Gargaro, Francesco 25.05.1898 Picinisco (FR) Ayr S
Ghiloni, "Leo" Nello 25.12.1909 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Giannandrea, Vincenzo 16.12.1910 Belmonte Castello (FR) Elgin S
Iannetta, Ferdinando 25.10.1889 Vilicuso (FR) Edinburgh S
Iannetta, Orazio 23.08.1901 Belmonte Castello (FR) Methil S
Iannetta, Vincenzo 25.10.1902 Belmonte Castello (FR) Methil S
Lucchesi, Pietro 26.01.1894 Castiglioni (LU) Prestwick S
Mancini, Antonio 03.08.1885 Atina (FR) Ayr S
Marsella, Antonio 15.10.1899 Casalattico (FR) Bonnybridge S
Marsella, Filippo 07.04.1897 Casalattico (FR) Wishaw S
Marsella, Orlando 22.08.1914 Glasgow Glasgow S
Marzella. Antonio 06.04.1899 Filignano (IS) Glasgow S
Meschi, Oscar 16.07.1920 Fornoli (LU) Glasgow S
Meta, Pasqualino 05.02.1899 Cassino (FR) Paisley S
Miele, Natalino 25.12.1898 Cassino (FR) Edinburgh S
Moretti, Giovanni 01.03.1900 Pardivarma (SP) Greenock S
Moscardini, Santino 02.01.1879 Barga (LU) Motherwell S
Nannini, Oreste 28.05.1891 Pievepelago (MO) Edinburgh S
Pacitti, Alfonso 03.08.1887 Cerasuolo (IS) Glasgow S
Pacitti, Carmine 03.06.1876 Filignano (IS) Carfin S
Pacitti, Gaetano 10.12.1890 Villa Latina (FR) Edinburgh S
Palleschi, Nicola I6.12.1884 Sesto Campano (IS) Glasgow S
Paolozzi, Alfonso Rodolfo 29.03.1901 Viticuso (FR) Edinburgh S
Papa, Pictro 02.10.1909 S. Biagio (FR) Glasgow S
Pardini, Agostino 09.09.1901 Capezzano (LU) Greenock S
Pelosi. Paul 23.03.1882 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Perella, Luigi 03.12.1893 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Pettiglio, Carlo 05.05.1878 Cassino (FR) Edinburgh S
Pieroni, Giuseppe 31.01.1889 Pieve (MS) Ayr S
Pinchera, Angelo Antonio 31.08.1898 Cassino (FR) Glasgow S
Poli, Amedeo 10.03.1896 Barga (LU) Glasgow S
Razzuoli, Enrico 15.12.1909 Stazzema (LU) Darvel S
Rinaldi, Giovanni 31.03.1883 Arlenes — Leith S
Roccantonio, Francesco 23.10.1875 Rocca D'Arce (FR) Peebles S
Rocchiccioli, Caesar 06.12.1909 Barga (LU) Troon S
Rossi, Emilio 08.09.1888 Viticuso (FR) Edinburgh S
Rossi, Flavio 15.06.1902 Bardi (PR) Port Glasgow S
Rossi, Pietro 23.12.1875 Viticuso (FR) Edinburgh S
Ruocchio, Michele Andrew 06.07.1908 ? ? Larkhall S
Santini, Quinto 29.07.1880 Pistoia (PT) Paisley S
Tapparo, Luigi 22.10.1898 Bollengo (TO) Edinburgh S
Tedesco, Raffaele 03.09.1889 Mocera ? Edinburgh S
Togneri, Giuseppe 19.03.1889 Barga (LU) Dunbar S
Tuzi, Pasquale 01.04.1898 Picinisco (FR) Edinburgh S
Valente, Adolf 15.06.1900 Cervaro (FR) Edinburgh S

8O You of all people Dugald should have no objection to the Memorial for the Andorra Star, perhaps that is why you really left the discussion?
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Re: Glasgow's Day of Infamy revisited.

Postby Dugald » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:36 pm

Glasgow's Day of Infamy revisited.
Socceroo said:

"You of all people Dugald should have no objection to the Memorial for the Andorra Star, perhaps that is why you really left the discussion?"

Funny thing Socceroo, when you first posted that list of Scottish/Italians, it never crossed my mind to see if Meschi's name was on the list. I don't know why, nor do I recall that he was unpopular or anything. I don't remember the name of the family who owned the shop on Craigton Rd.where the real and premeditated looting took place. I wrote the Glasgow's Day of Infamy story a very long time ago, otherwise I wouldn't have remembered Meschi's name either.

Nah, the sinking of the Andorra Star has/had nothing to do at all with my thoughts about the day of infamy when Italy entered the war. If I needed a memorial for the way Italians in Glasgow were treated, I need only go to the location of a cafe in Whiteinch... that was/is my memorial, and I never went back to it, nor I'd wager, did any of the others. By the way, religion was never a part of the looting of Italian shops in Govan, I'd guess, just as many Catholics as Protestants took part in the looting.

The reason I left the discussion was because I had no interest in a discussion involving religion. I still believe it's wrong to build a memorial in Glasgow for the sinking of the Andorra Star. The Germans sunk the ship, not the British.
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Re: Glasgow's Day of Infamy revisited.

Postby red_kola » Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:48 am

a looter wrote:I still believe it's wrong to build a memorial in Glasgow for the sinking of the Andorra Star. The Germans sunk the ship, not the British.

Ah, I get you now. The memorial should be in Berlin.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby cell » Mon Jul 21, 2008 4:29 pm

The memorial should not be in Glasgow, as I said before it should be either where the ship set sail from or the nearest land point to the site of the wreck and it should not cost £1.5m because that amount is an obscene waste of money!
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm

cell wrote:The memorial should not be in Glasgow, as I said before it should be either where the ship set sail from or the nearest land point to the site of the wreck and it should not cost £1.5m because that amount is an obscene waste of money!


Yes you said that before. We know.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby escotregen » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:04 pm

No-ones asking any of you to pay for it so what the hell is the problem? The people killed on this ship were not the ones out fighting for the Fascists, they were civs like us, some of whom were actually refugees fleeing persecution, just to get caught in the cross-fire again. Their nationality, or the time and circumstances in which the disaster happened make it no less of a tragedy and I can;t believe anyone would take umbridge with such a proposal to memorialise and honour the dead.


I can do nothing better than agree well stated crusty... I just cannot comprehend why some people here are articulating such a strong and baffling meaness towards a memorial for civilians killed for being in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time.

I share the inability to understand why some folks can work up such strong objections to a commonplace and civilised act of commemoration with the erection of a memorial. To the objectors here, I would say if you have nothing respectful or humane to say folks, it might be better if you have the decency just to pass over the topic of this memorial without further comment.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Socceroo » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:27 pm

I agree entirely with Escotregen's post, particularly the last sentence. Clearly some of us have different views on the memorial, but out of respect i think it is time we move on.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby cell » Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:22 pm

Thought these might be of interest, I did post the 2nd one on the "Bombs over Glasgow" thread but it got lost among the fierce "wanton, indiscriminate" skirmish that was going on at the time!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7522041.stm

http://www.war-experience.org/
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Dugald » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:10 pm

cell wrote:Thought these might be of interest, I did post the 2nd one on the "Bombs over Glasgow" thread but it got lost among the fierce "wanton, indiscriminate" skirmish that was going on at the time!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/7522041.stm

http://www.war-experience.org/


I visited your two recommneded sites Cell, and enjoyed reading the first one, the second one I'll leave until later. This £590,000 project they're working on is a very good idea. It frequently happens that once an idea of this kind is embarked upon, it turns out to be just in time to be too late... hope this doesn't happen.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Dugald » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:20 pm

Recently there was a discussion on the "Bombs over Glasgow" thread which included reference to Glasgow's preparations for war. I was involved in a major part of these preparations, and sixty-nine years ago today, I was evacuated from Govan.

The Evacuation...not Dunkirk, the big one.

When war seemed imminent, on the Friday of the fateful weekend as I recall, we were simply told to report to the school on the Sunday morning at a stipulated time with a rucksack containing pajamas, toothbrush, and several other things. The preparations for the departure, together with the excitement associated with the imminence of war being declared, made the weekend memorable.

My elder sister and I were the only members of our family still attending school, and since my father was a widower, we would be going on our own. On the Saturday afternoon, September 2nd, our older brother took us to some shop on the Langlands Rd. in Govan and bought us both rucksacks, and a big bag of fruit from Egans' fruit shop on the Langlands Road in Govan.( The whole Egans family were killed in the blitz on March 13th, 1941.). With our rucksacks on our backs, and I feeling somewhat military, we left my brother and headed towards a commotion we had heard coming from the army drill hall on Elder St.

The drill hall was the headquarters of the local territorial unit. A great crowd of people were thronging around the entrance to the building and soldiers were hanging out of the windows on either side of the entrance. I recall quite clearly them being dressed leisurely in khaki, some in shirt sleeves, some with no tunics and collar-less army shirts, some with caps, some bareheaded ...no suggestion of their usual parade-ground appearance. The soldiers were singing and there was much bantering going on among the soldiers and civilians and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Many of the spectators were related to the soldiers, and there was of course much wisecracking, all in good fun. Girl friends and wives were standing close to the windows chatting with their soldiers.

I suppose the crowd were there to see what was happening and get first hand news about the war. Several times this day I had seen newsboys running down the street shouting "Extra! Extra!", but where in Govan was there a better place to learn what was going on than at its only military establishment? Rumours were rife, and I recall vividly listening to them all with great interest. The scene around here was just electric! I found it all so exciting, all these people milling around and nattering about the war, the evacuation, so-and-so being awakened in the middle of the night by a policeman and told to report to his ship or some such thing. It was all so very real, I was absolutely awestruck. My interest in the war and things military were such that I recognized the genuine historical drama of what was going on.

A feeling of great joviality seemed to pervade the whole scene and in no way could it be described as one of sadness, or fear, or foreboding. The soldiers were singing and laughing and certainly not downhearted. Despite all this joviality, an officer and several fully dressed soldiers appeared on the pedestrian pavement adjacent to the building and cleared it of civilians, after which a guard was mounted to patrol the full length of the pavement for the purpose I suppose, of separating the soldiers from the growing mass of spectators.

All the spectators remained standing around out on the street. Shortly afterwards a drunk man staggered down the street and naturally enough, onto the pavement in front of the drill hall. The drunk man was singing, just like the soldiers and many others, and not at all obnoxious. Well he was, up until the guard tried to stop him from using the pavement , at which time he became a bit annoyed and started shouting about what he had done in the Great War and refused to get out onto the street. While he was arguing with the guard one of the soldiers who had been hanging out of the window--not on duty-- jumped out onto the pavement and punched the drunk man. What happened after this incident I don't know. What I do know is that it changed my own lighthearted approach to the idea of being at war, and the thoughts of leaving Govan for some place unknown became somewhat less attractive. There was no fear, just a touch of concern, and in this frame of mind my sister and I scooted off for home with our wee fruit-filled rucksacks bobbing on our backs.

On the morning of September 3rd, 1939, my sister and I hoisted our packed rucksacks on our backs and along with our father we left for Greenfield School. I can't remember anyone else being in the house when we left so there were no last minute tear-filled farewells to stand out in my mind. Passing the McGregor Memorial Church with my father walking between my sister and me is a part of the trip that stands out in my mind. Perhaps it is because there were various groups of parents and potential evacuees, including some of my pals, standing in small groups around the corner preparatory to leaving for the school, and many of them waved to us. The feeling reminded me at the time of a Sunday-School picnic, but I was well aware I was not going on a Sunday School picnic.

When we arrived at Greenfield Public School on Nimmo Dr., there was a great crowd of children and mothers milling around the school play-ground and outside the railings on the pavement. I cannot say whether things were well-organized or not; they could well have been. Certainly once things started to happen we weren't too long standing around before we were issued with a gray-coloured identification label (which hung around our necks for the next couple of days), and a paper shopping bag containing food. The food was a real source of joy and all the children eagerly rummaged through it to find what goodies were included. In particular I recall two bars of plain York chocolate and two packets of biscuits among a variety of other foodstuffs--a veritable gold mine of exotic edibles for the children of Govan! There were many teachers dashing hither and thither solving one problem after another; they were very busy. And one wonders today, who wrote out all these identification labels and who packed all these food bags.

The railing all around the school playground was just a sea of faces all pressed hard against the high iron palings. I could see my father standing alone on the pavement, but back from the railing, watching and giving us an occasional nod. There were some soldiers among the crowd at the school and I recall one in particular since he was wearing a kilt and his wife and all the children were crying. To me it was very exciting, a great lark, and I knew exactly what was happening...we all sensed the declaration of war was imminent, and we were being sent out into the country away from industrial targets that would soon be bombed, everyone knew this.

We were lined up in two's, I with my sister, clutching each other's hand. Only mothers who were being evacuated were included in the long line. This meant a line of orderly pairs flanked by parents and other well-wishers, stepping out on Nimmo Dr., Arklett Rd. and the Langlands Rd. towards the railway station at Berryknowes Rd. The walk to the station seemed very brief and in no time my sister and I were in a carriage saying cheerio and waving with all the excitement our young hearts were capable of. Our father waved us off and we watched him as long as we could while the train pulled out of the station and he became lost in a sea of faces on the station platform. Was there any sadness as the train left Govan? I don't know, I was busy eating a bar of plain York chocolate. (I have often wondered, as an adult and a father, what my father's feelings were as that train left the station.).

Indifferent to the singing, laughing, joking, and eating going on in the carriages, the train hooted and puffed its smoky way on, to where, not a soul among us had any idea. After what seemed a disappointingly brief time the train started to slow down amid a conglomeration of high dockyard cranes and much ado about boats. We might have thought we were back in Govan but for the tang of the salt sea air and the screaming of the seagulls. And, with the familiar clicking and clacking of a crawling train etching an indelible sound in our minds, we slowly entered a railway station adjacent to a dock and just seething with big, blue-helmeted Bobbies, all looking so friendly and comforting.

The cry of, "Ardrossan...just up the watter frae Saltcoats", seemed just a trifle disappointing; but not entirely, there was much hooting of boats to keep our minds hoping for more to come. After screeching to a stop and having our door flung ceremoniously open by a big smiling Bobby, we all piled out onto the dock, and lo and behold, towering beside the dock was the "Marchioness of Graham". ( How very appropriate, a Govan-built boat for Govan children!). But, gone were her cheerful "doon-the-watter" colours. The once brightly coloured pleasure steamer now had the appearance of a man o' war: she was entirely in battleship grey and looked very somber and very serious.

Having been avidly interested in ships for quite some time and having only recently, during the past summer, seen most of the Clyde pleasure steamers, I was very much taken aback by the warlike appearance of the steamer. I was familiar with the steamer, but did not immediately recognize it; and I have long since remembered the impression the first sight of it at Ardrossan created. A distinct feeling of foreboding crept into me, and I clearly recall being somewhat worried for the first time since the adventure began the previous day.

The foreboding was not mine alone. The rowdy, singing, laughing throng hushed, and the presence of so many policemen on the dock eliminated any ideas that we were simply out for a day's picnic. We didn't linger on the dock; we were soon gently but firmly guided with a pat on the head by the very friendly policemen up the big gangway and onto the boat. Once on board it soon became apparent that our spirits were not permanently dampened and cries of " Are we downhearted?", got a rousing Govan "No!", response. The teachers herded their particular groups to their particular stations on the boat, and were by and large successful in keeping us all together, no mean task on a boat now jammed with hundreds of children of all ages. It didn't take long before anticipation and excitement took over again as we awaited the steamer's departure for piers unknown.

Children from other schools must also have been sailing on this boat since we were a long time at the quay while other trains delivered their loads of gray-labelled Glaswegians to the dock. We did eventually, with a screaming toot on the boat's whistle, and a rousing cheer from the boat's younger passengers, leave, and save for the big, helmeted, policemen standing on the dock there was no one to wave us good-bye. The sail across the Firth of Clyde to the Island of Arran passed, but not uneventfully in the eyes of the young Glaswegian evacuees.

Often I have thought about this departure at Ardrossan, and the picture that stands uppermost in my mind is that of the great number of policemen who walked with us from the train to the boat. Although I did feel some foreboding, the sight and friendliness of these big helmeted "poliss", for some reason, made me feel safe. I don't know if they followed everyone or if it was just because my sister and I had no adults with us, that they watched us, anyway, it left me with a good feeling about the police.

Once out in the Firth there arose great cries of "Look! Look! " from the other side of the boat from where my station was. Caught in the excitement of the moment I dodged my vigilant teacher and secured a handrail position from which I discovered the cause of all the shouting: close off the starboard bow of the steamer a real Royal Navy destroyer was thrashing her way through the foaming water at top speed towards the Atlantic, black smoke pouring from her two funnels and her white ensign stretched clear and wide for all to see. This was my meat; this was the stuff I had dreamed about; this was last week's screaming headlines, "War Clouds over Poland", come to life! Aware no doubt that she was passing a boat full of evacuees, she gave one screech on her siren for all to hear and sped on its purposeful way.

The sail could not have been long, I don't recall thinking that it was...perhaps about an hour. However, as we docked at the longest pier on the Firth of Clyde at Whiting Bay, and prepared to disembark, many children were crying. Perhaps the sail had been too long and the younger children were tired. Confusion was much more in evidence as we collected ourselves for the next phase of our adventure. Our teachers were raising their voices and becoming much less tolerant. One of the teachers, a Miss McAlister, fainted. Her prostrate body lay bundled in her expensive-looking coat on the now mucky wooden deck for all our saucer eyes to see. I don't suppose many of us had seen an unconscious person before, well not a teacher anyway. The poor teachers must have had a harrowing time this day. Later in the war when young attractive Miss McAlister was frequently met at the school gate by an R.A.F. pilot, I never failed to see her lying there that day on the Marchioness of Graham at Whiting Bay.

Getting off the boat, down the gangway in particular, stands out in my mind. It seemed there were thousands of children queuing up and pushing as if the first ashore would be the best looked after. Teachers and mothers abandoned their conciliatory approach to delinquent children, and where previously a word had been used to reproach a child, a grip of the scruff of the neck now served the purpose. We did make it though and after a long treck up the wooden pier, in a much less orderly fashion than our march from Greenfield school. Many children boarded a fleet of buses at the head of the pier, while my contingent headed off to a small church located at the north end of this sedate and picturesque Arran village.

In the church all the children who were not accompanied by a mother were separated and arranged into family groups--no families were to be divided. Our teachers had disappeared and we were left among strangers. My sister and I found ourselves standing together in a small hall along with some other small groups of two or three children, none of whom we knew. Men and women came into the hall periodically and I suppose, had a good look at us. I don't recall how the selection was made, all I remember is that after spending what seemed like a terribly long time in the church hall, we were taken to a big house (really big, probably a hotel or a guest house) on the seafront...without, I must add, having been selected by any particular local family to move in with and share their comforts for the duration of the war.

My sister and I were shown to a room which was at the top of a very long flight of narrow winding stairs. This was I think, actually in the top part of what could have been a tower, and although I am tempted to guess that we were in the maids' quarter of the building, I don't think so, since there was a "dumb-waiter" apparatus in our room, hardly to be expected in the staff's accommodation. It was a beautiful place and I clearly remember being very impressed with how clean and expensive all the furnishings looked. I am quite sure we were not put up in this place by design, but rather simply as a stopgap measure to look after the Evacuation's "left overs". Anyway, my sister and I were quite undaunted, we had a good feed of the biscuits from our bag of goodies and lots of hilarity going up and down on the 'dumb waiter' along with the other waifs! We slept very well in a very comfortable bed that first night of the war.

Our stay in this somewhat classy establishment didn't last too long. Next morning I believe it was, a Mrs. Hr. whose daughter had been in my class at Greenfield School, appeared and took myself and my sister from this big residence to another house at the south end of the village. The other house, a beautiful red sandstone villa called "Ingleside", was also very big and also very well furnished...not at all the sort of place to which we Govan types were accustomed.

Mrs. Hr., along with her son George and daughter Margaret, shared Ingleside with a Mrs. Hn and her two sons. Both of these families were from Govan and were I suppose, friends in "civvy street". Mrs. Hr. was an outstandingly nice and caring woman who I think took pity on my sister and me. Mrs. Hn. was somewhat more reserved in her welcome and I never did rid myself of the feeling that her putting up with my sister, and especially me, was her contribution to the war effort and for which she expected to be duly recognized and rewarded. Lest there be any misunderstanding stemming from my last comment, be it understood that never once , in all my stay at Ingleside did I have reason to even suspect that we were not treated exactly the same as their own children. Both Mrs, Hr. and Mrs. Hn were scrupulously fair in our treatment.

I stayed in Arran, I think, until the early spring of 1940, but I'm not very sure about this. I cannot help but wonder at the enormity of the task undertaken by those who organized the Evacuation. I think I was in a reasonable position to appraise its success and I rate it as having been highly successful and commend those responsible for the running of it, at all levels of organization. If one considers the problem of transporting, feeding, and arranging accommodation for literally hundreds of thousands of women and children in such a short space of time, one must surely appreciate the immensity of it. It was a gigantic operation, and perhaps because the expected mass bombing of the cities never took place immediately war was declared, the importance to which it was entitled has been somewhat diminished.

Epilogue: After I left Ingleside and Arran, I never again saw any of these people with whom I lived at Ingleside. In the early post war years I cycled through Whiting Bay on several occasions, but never did visit Ingleside. Fifty years to the day however, I did visit Ingleside and it was just the same as I'd always remembered except that it now appeared much smaller than I had thought it was. I spoke to a woman there and told her I'd moved into her house fifty years ago to this very day, the first day of the war, and her only comment was "Oh?"... not a great surprise really as she no doubt hadn't even been born then. Ingleside is still there I believe; it is at the foot of the lane- way that leads up to the picturesque waterfalls.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby AlanM » Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:56 pm

Fantastic stuff Dugald!!
Who needs a six pack....when you've got a keg!!!
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby HollowHorn » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:37 pm

Cheers Dugald, an excellent read. :wink:
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Mori » Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:13 pm

Evening Times

French village asks for help to find city hero’s family

A FRENCH village has launched a search for the family of a Glasgow war hero laid to rest in its cemetery.
A memorial placed by the family at the grave of Private Alex Paterson was badly damaged by the weather - but a history group rescued the plaque from his headstone and restored it.
Now the group would like to hear from the young soldier's family so it can reassure them it is looking after his grave.
Michel Haussey, a local councillor, contacted the Evening Times for help in tracking down the Paterson family.

If you have information on the Paterson family e-mail m.haussy@orange.fr or news@eveningtimes.co.uk.

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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby Dugald » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:47 am

[quote="Mori"]
French village asks for help to find city hero’s family
Image [img]
I read the article in the Times Mori. I'm sorry I cannot help at all with finding the Paterson family, but i'd like to mention that in the newspaper it says Private Alex Paterson was in the Black Watch, but in the picture above, the cap badge looks very much more like that of the Argyll & Sutheraland Highlanders rather than the Black Watch.
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Re: Wartime Glasgow--Excluding bombing.

Postby DMcNay » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:51 pm

You're both right Dugald - he'd previously served in the Argylls before presumably being transferred to the Black Watch.

His Medal Index Card shows he was previously in the Argylls with the service number 277942.

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Sometimes these cards have the address the medals were sent to on the back, but not in this case unfortunately. However, his "Debt of Honour" register entry states his mother was named Mary and lived at 654 Garscube Road.
Last edited by DMcNay on Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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