Monday, September 01, 2008

Defence of Nairn and the Kingdom

Hamish remembers his duties in the Home Guard:

In early 1940 when there was a real risk of invasion the L.D.V. - later renamed Home Guard – was formed in the town and some two dozen or so townsmen who were either too young or too old to serve in the Forces volunteered. Major Fraser D.S.O, M.C, T.D, Headmaster of the Millbank School became the Officer in Charge.

HQ’s was in a room of a house in High Street and opposite Douglas Street and Mc Rae and Dick’s Garage was used on Sunday mornings for squad drills. When on duty “Other Ranks” were paired off and allocated various duties. These included patrolling the beaches and manning look-out posts. Of these one was near to Tradespark where one got a clear view of the Inverness Road towards Delnies and another was on the parapet under and around the Town Clock from where there was an excellent all round view, especially of the back shore and the area out towards Lochloy. It was anticipated that any invasion force would come from that direction.

My partner for these patrols and look-out duties was Alex. Dallas whose family had a jewellery business in the town and we spent
many cold and wet hours together walking around the clock.
On the 1st anniversary of the formation of the Home Guard, they were given the honour of mounting guard at Buckingham Palace and this honour was bestowed again in May 1943. There are regiments that have been in existence for hundreds of years and have not had this honour and yet a unit that was in existence for only for only four and a half years was asked to mount guard twice. That’s something that would never have been asked of a group of geriatrics, incompetents and immature men such as "Dad's Army" has portrayed them.

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