04/12/2014
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WW2 audio memories: wartime convoy veterans in Scotland

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Keeping Britain Afloat

In a new series of audio clips and stories on the History Scotland website, we hear the recollections of World War Two convoy veterans who worked in Scotland during the war, beginning with the story of Megan Moir who arrived in Kyle of Lochalsh in January 1945.

Read more about Scotland during World War Two in every issue of Scottish Memories magazine.

1. Megan Moir, Kyle of Lochalsh, January 1945

Click on the image (right) to listen to Megan's story…By the time Megan Moir, a WREN from Cheltenham, arrived in Kyle of Lochalsh in January 1945, the village was home to one of Britain’s largest naval bases.

Never having been further than Devon, Megan recalls the journey well:

'It had been snowing, (the skipper) said ‘come up to the wheel… I’ll point out… all the islands… it was wonderful seeing all the snow… it was beautiful…'

Unusually for a WREN, Megan’s posting involved taking part in exercises at sea, aboard HMS Philante.

Back on land she enjoyed her brief moments off duty:

'We used to go to the local church… hall, (for) Scottish dancing (with) the locals to bagpipes, we were always welcome.'

Megan met a local girl, home on leave, 'She took me to her house…her mother only spoke Gaelic because all the villagers spoke Gaelic… I used to visit them… it was wonderful country we used to go over to the Isle of Skye… and cycle, there was no vegetation, it was rather rough ground.'
 
Megan was at sea, when the news came of victory in Europe:

'everyone went mad with excitement, we were with an American escort group… they let off rockets star shells, as we came into Kyle… everyone was standing on the quay… playing the bagpipes, the locals…were hanging out of their windows waving white cloths... it was so exciting I shall never, never forget it... in the evening we were all down on the quay and the submarines came in one by one with... their lights on… they were letting off rockets… it was amazing and because it was dark… they were shining on the water.'
 
Megan’s story is part of Keeping Britain Afloat, a project by the Legasee Education Trust, recording the stories of Second World War convoy veterans, find out more about the project at: www.legasee.org.uk/keeping-britain-afloat

With special thanks to Julie Hodgkinson. Photos courtesy of Megan Moir.

Listen to more World War Two audio clips…

Dorothy Brewer stationed at Balloch Castle on the banks of Loch Lomond

Cornelius Snelling - posted to Glasgow and sailed on the Arctic convoys


Read more wartime articles and news stories in our Scotland in World War Two section

 
Read memories of Scotland in every issue of Scottish Memories, Scotland's favourite nostalgia magazine.

Order the print edition and we'll send it to you, or download our interactive digital edition using the links below…


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