Archive Title



Recorded: 18.5.2005 Venue: Glen Pavilion, Pittencrieff Park, DunfermlineVeterans & Attendees recorded Veterans: James Selfridge (Prisoner of War) & Cousin Mrs Isobel Lowrie Markinch Sisters: Mrs Kate McCombie, Mrs Ena Warden, Helen WilkieMr ‘Mc…covskie (?), Marion Wallace, Mrs Catherine Black, Leslie (Shepherd) Bowman, Mrs Ann Page, Edwin Abrams, Maurice Fletcher, Margaret (Stein) Taylor,George Simmonds, Chairman 8th Bn. The Royal Scots, The Royal RegimentCllr. Gerry McMullan, Cllr. Tony Martin, Cllr Joe RosiejakHM Lord Lt. of Fife, Mrs Margaret DeanMajor Alistair Hood (Ret.)Royal Marines String QuartetMc Lean & Cowdenbeath Primary School ChoirsSIDE AKEY WORDS / TOPICS:> Introduction / the afternoon programme / brief visit to kitchen Glen Pavilion / menu of the day / Pittencrieff Park / brief chat with CLLR. JERRY MCMULLAN & CLLR. TONY MARTIN- FIFE COUNCIL about their task for the day hosting a table of veterans / looking forward to it / anecdote of an aunt who was once a gardener at Pittemcrief Park, who witnessed along with fellow workers the very first air raid in the UK at Rosyth Dockyard / one morning working in the park they saw a plane flying low over them and happily waved to it / they watched it fly towards Rosyth them watched as it was blown out of the sky / sudden realisation that it had been a German bomber they had waved to / UK unprepared for war / people naive / today, ‘war by television’ / story about father 80 yrs old, one of the youngers that went to war, Burma / 1944-1946 > JAMES SELFRIDGE & MRS ISOBEL LOWRIE – joined up at 19 ys old / QUEENS OWN CAMERON HIGHLANDERS / Inversness training / getting away from the coalmines / remembered VE Day home on leave in Buckhaven / prisoner of war liberated fortnight before / was interned POW Camp Stalig 8B / then Stalig 334 Lamsdorf / did the Big March, Death March 12 hundred miles without cover / very little food, millions not well on the march with the Germans 1945 / Tuesday 22 January left Lamsdorf 6 o’clock at night / Russian / British advancing / survived / memories 13 April liberated / Americans gave them too much food and many survivors were ill / then flown home / first sight of Dover (James sheds a few tears)…….Was it all worth it? …..”Yes..we don’t have the freedom we had before”… James ccompanied by cousin Isobel, 8 when war finished / remember party on VE Night / men all went to The Rising Sun for a drink / bunting up when Jim came home. (sound effects peacocks in the park)> CLLR. JOE ROSIEJAK – FIFE COUNCIL – Opposition Spokesperson (Childrens Service) / Father Polish / big family still in Poland / dad took active service 2nd front of the 2nd Polish Armoured Brigade / not originally from Fife, stationed in Kelso / Poles in Markinch / Fife Councillor hosting table, looking after guests / a one off event will not happen again.> MARKINCH SISTERS / MRS KATE McCOMBIE, MRS ENA WARDEN & MRS MACKIE – PAY CORPS. ARTILLERY, ROYAL CORPS OF SIGNALS (?) sisters all enlisted in the Forces / Territorials no uniforms / before the war wore own clothes / duties teleprinters / Midlands(LADIES TO BE INTERVIEWED FURTHER BY SCOTSPEAK) > MR MC ..COVSKIE (?) – Aged 89 – born 1016 near the Russian border Joined Army at 1038 at 22 yrs. – Demobed 1948 from London, looked for a job / 10 years in the Army Memories of VE Day , Chief of the Officers School / lived in Dunfermline, with wife and son 4 years old, heard news from landlady after coming home from work 6 0’clock in the evening / “She told me tomorrow we were going away because my country is fleeing … people didn’t understand …when war finished we were expected to go back home / have now been here for 64 years.” > MARION WALLACE – ATS joined at 20 years old ‘it was an ‘adventure’ / lived in Kirkcaldy / at the time a big change new job, leaving home but soon adapted as time went on / remembers VE Day going back home lots of parties / had to adjust after being away in Nottingham / away from home / naive in those days / first time away from home but eveybody else was in the same boat / in Pay Corps doing office work – made sure everybody received their pay / allowances / “Suppose it (the war) was worth it our country came out of it quite well ….”> MRS CATHERINE BLACK – from Cowdenbeath – VOX POP whilst Mrs Black waited for her veteran husband, MR WILLIAM BLACK aged 80 yrs / served in the 2nd World War / now retired> LESLIE ( Shepherd) BOWMAN – WRENS / Served with Signals aged 18 yrs / ( reference to the necklace she was wearing, ‘Jenny Wren’ badge) / trained London then posted to Fort William a base for small craft, NTBs (?) Torpedos and gun boats / lots of training / Leslie was then sent overseas / worked Signals on teleprinters / in Alexandria for 2yrs and was still there on VE and VJ Day / Japanese war still going on before receiving draft home / remembers working on VE day but made time for a swim in an open air swimming gala!> MRS ANN PAGE – ATS lived in Kingskettle / joined-up aged 19yrs / trained at Dalkieth / Chilwell / Nottingham / huge Army Depot / 1st Class Clerk RAOC (?) spent 21st birthday in the Army / VE Day spent working, stocktaking> (?) – RAF BOMB DISPOSAL – Joined up at 19 years old / stationed in and around London / trained Blackpool then bomb disposal at Wick, Grangemouth, England, Middle Wallop, Hendon, when the war finished posted to Hamburg for bomb clearance / VE Day making way to Hamburg.> VOX POPS / ACTUALITY- RAF ‘ FLY PAST’ – TORNADO F3 / > EDWIN ABRAMS – ROYAL SIGNALS – Joined- up at 18 yrs / posted to Catterick Camp to join The Royal Signals / served at first in Scotland / posted South of England just before D Day / served in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany / when war finished in Germany he was then posted out to Far East / war finished in Far East before he arrived / left in Italy / then moved on to Cairo via Palastine then back to Cairo finished service in the Sudan on a ‘ Locust’ mission / stung by a scorpion, sent to hospital then ‘demobed’ in Aldershot 1948 Originally from Northampton / Company 52nd Lowland Mountain Division, trained for mountain warfare, the idea, to invade Norway / strategy to keep German troops away from D Day / remark about ‘contradictory’ name of ‘Lowland’ Division yet trained for ‘mountain’ warfare’ / Division disbanded after the war / nowadays hear most about the 51st brother of 52nd Division / lots of English and Scots amongst them / proud of the Regiment / wearing original Signals Badge / lived in Liverpool just before the war / as a ‘boy’ in the Fire Service / during the Blitzes he acted as ‘reporter’ informing the Fire Service how serious a fire was / Fire Service could only afford to attend ‘serious fires’ / story about being bombed out from home – one night 14 incendiary bombs landed on top of his house / the whole family survived / dad decided to remove family out of Liverpool / he stayed behind and lost business through bombing / moved to Northampton and Edwin joined up from there ( father served in the Northamptonshire Regiment, RAF during the First World War) / became an officer during the Second World War joined up as an LAC, (Leading Aircraftsman) RAF – finished up as Adjutant at Cranwell / remembers VE Day at Bremen Docks story about Adjutant / rum ration and celebration > HM LORD LT. OF FIFE MRS MARGARET DEAN arrival… INTERIOR ACTUALITY / MUSIC……ROYAL MARINES STRING QUARTET > WILLIAM MACKAY – MESSENGER SERVICE – 19 yrs old when called-up – the night before war was declared / served as a boy in the Messenger Service / remembers VE Day, he was still behind enemy lines, “…didn’t know what day it was ….” / .”Russians advanced and ‘we’ were trying to get away from them” / VE Day in Germany at the end of the war as a prisioner of war / just crossed the River Elba / “Russians advancing, Germany retreating and ‘we’ were somewhere in between!” William was “taken prisioner, ….” just before ‘we’ crossed the Rhine – found myself in in a prison camp Fallingbostal , spent 21st birthday in ‘Stalag 11B ” / “…the more I learnt about the nature of the treatment to the Jewish people the more proud I am to have participated in bringing an end to all that.” / “… only standard medals that mean a lot to me”> HM LORD LT. OF FIFE MRS. MARGARET DEAN – ‘feelings of gratitude to the veterans who put their lives on hold for 5 / 6 years / the horrors that people lived through / no counselling available in those days / had to get on with life after the war / admired Fife Council for having arranged such a ‘marvellous celebration for the veterans’ / the response ‘exceeded expectations’ / Margaret Dean remembers VE Day – aged four years old she received a mug / ‘delighted’ that Glen Pavilion is being used again after ‘Her Majesty The Queen’ visited.> ALISTAIR HOOD – MAJ (Retired) 3 PARA & ROYAL SIGNALS – talks to Valda Hood-Chin about WW2 memorabillia and artifacts held by Fife Council’s Museum Service on display at Glen Pavilion – National Dried Milk / Concentrated Orange Juice / Rattle used by Air Wardens to warn of gas attacks / respirators, adult and childs / green enamel tea mug, and tea, 24 ration packs, leaf tea sweetened condensed milk / Shell – made by Barry Ostler & Shepherd, Kirkcaldy, munitions factory, armour pearcing shell, solid very heavy,sheer weight and kinetic energy could penetrate armour / Infantry Training Handbook, 1937 pre-war, later produced pamphlets covering topics such as drill, weapon handling, how to clean, strip, load different sorts of weapons / Bren Gun, 303 rifle / a tin of boiled sweets and matches…would have come out of a ration pack / emergency pack / medals / uniforms / battle-dress made of surge wool / clothing generally was what available at the time not purpose made like these days / non waterproof / greatcoat worn over uniform / > ROYAL MARINES STRING QUARTET – provided music to welcome guests / from HMS CALADONIA, Rosyth / 3 musicians volunteered to play for the veterans > GLEN PAVILION – INTERIOR ACTUALITY / LES WOOD & HIS DIXIELANDERSCOMMENTS:SIDE BKEY WORDS / TOPICS:> Artifacts on show/ forces newspaper, The Union Jack dated, 1946 edition / cleaning kit to clean gas mask description on how to use, Maj Hood / chlorine based steralising tablets, made the water taste foul / mustard gas / gas threat / never used but precautions taken > INTERIOR ACTUALITY> MAURICE FLETCHER – ROYAL AIR FORCE – joined-up at 22 yrs old / now 83 yrs old / Blackpool to do ‘square bashing’ then on to Yatesbury trained as a radar operator / posted to Danby Beacon, Yorkshire / Ground Control Intersection (GCI) night fighters / posted to mobile radar unit / Salisbury Plain / sent away on a course to ‘re-muster’ to radar mechanic / VE Day nearly blinded himself / German airbase / never been back to the continent > MARGARET (STEIN) TAYLOR – WRAF – aged 81 years – looking at photographs / Joined the WRAF 1942 aged 18yrs demobed 1946 / worked ‘in service’ before joining up so was already ‘away’ from home on her own / saw a woman driving a car and decided that was what she wanted to do / first choice WRENS but only the WRAF had vacancies for women drivers / square-bashing first then underwent training in North Wales / then Driving School and learnt how to drive / drove 30cwt lorries, vans cars / carrying loads – parts of aircraft / women were not allowed to drive more than 30cwt lorries / posted to Grangemouth / Borders / Operational Training Unit (OTU) / Spitfires, (?) Fighters / put in for an overseas posting was sent to the Orkneys – there until the war ended / ‘ a good war ‘ / 22years old when she returned home> A poem written by one of Margaret’s colleagues, Phil Radiforth, Yorkshireman WRAF friends / Rader Outposts on the Orkneys > Margaret reading poem from original, handwritten document. ACTUALITY – McLEAN & COWDENBEATH PRIMARY SCHOOL CHOIRS – SingingSongs From The War – ‘The Blue Birds Over The White Cliffs of Dover’ ( veterans can be heard singing along) – ‘Lilly of the Lamplight, Lilly Marleene’ – We’ll Meet Again’……APPLAUSE.>HM LORD LT. OF FIFE MRS MARGARET DEAN / SPEECH & ACTUALITY”Wonderful party, a list of thanks including veterans who put their lives on hold to serve their country…..” / .A Soldiers Rhyme… / TOAST / ” to OUR VETERANS ” ACTUALITY – GEORGE SIMMONDS, CHAIRMAN 8th BN.THE ROYAL SCOTS, THE ROYAL REGIMENT (1939-1945) – presentation of bouquet of flowers to H.M. L.L. MRS. MARGARET DEAN – Thanks to Fife Council on behalf of the veterans for ‘pushing the boat out’…..APPLAUSE / ACTUALITY> GEORGE SIMMONDS – CHAIRMAN 8th BN. THE ROYAL SCOTS – put age up to join Royal Scots only 16+ when he enlisted / in ‘action’ Belgium when 17 / he was only ‘found out’ after his 18th birthday / Royal Scots the ‘oldest Infantry Regiment in the British Army’ / Ministry of Defence now attempting to “disseminate” the Regiment / remembers VE Day – wounded in Gough border of Holland / Germany came back home / May 1945 on the staff of a Prisioner of War Camp outside Edinburgh / “I’d volunteer for anything!”……COMMENTS:

Calm Record IDacfabeaf-41fe-488d-9f5d-632d798ba761
Start Date2005-01-01
End Date2005-01-01
Extent1 Tape
Original Date Data2005
Title No StrokesA