Browsed by
Author: assaye

Glasgow Armed Forces Day Saturday 30th June 2018

Glasgow Armed Forces Day Saturday 30th June 2018

Glasgow Saturday 30th June

Form up at Holland Street 10:30 Hrs

10:30 am Form up Holland Street for marching Parade contingent

11:00 am Parade marches off. Those not marching the full route should join the parade as it comes past the Queen Street Station corner.

12:00 Civic Reception – ticketed event in the Banqueting Suite in the City Chambers.

Ticket holders only for Civic Reception.

All are welcome to the parade and activities in George Square. 

Sergeant John Pews 1st Bn HLI 1942 – 1947

Sergeant John Pews 1st Bn HLI 1942 – 1947

My Father John Pews, originally from Springburn Glasgow sadly now long deceased was a member of 1st Bn HLI from 15-1-42 to 1-1-47.


I have a few photos of his wartime service period from 1942 in UK to Germany and afterwards in Egypt/Palestine 1945/6 ish. In 1946 he was a sergeant in the anti-tank platoon. I have a few pics of his time in the Bn including many of the parade at the Citadel in Cairo in 1946.
I know it is a long shot now but I would love to know if anyone remembers my dad or others in the photos.

Robert Pews.

VE Day Commemorative Service and Parade: Knightswood Glasgow Saturday 12th May 2018

VE Day Commemorative Service and Parade: Knightswood Glasgow Saturday 12th May 2018

The Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association once again co-ordinated the above event which took place on Saturday 12th May 2018

The Secretary carrying the HLI Association Standard at the VE Day Event 2018

A Church service was held in Knightswood St Margaret’s Church, 2000 Knightswood Road, Knightswood, Glasgow G13 2HA.

Veterans on the march on Great Western Road

The dress was as per Armistice day parades. Association Standards were on parade.

73rd ANNIVERSARY OF VE DAY / SATURDAY 12th MAY 2018

HLI veterans and dignitaries enjoy a well earned refreshment after the parade

Detailed Timings:

• 10:00 – Church Hall open for Tea / Coffee etc. TOILETS ARE AVAILABLE
• 10:30 – Branch Standard Bearers and Wreath layers dress rehearsal at Vets monument
• 10:50 – Veterans etc seated for Church Service
• 10:55 – VIP’S seated
• 11:00 – Service commences
• 11:40 – Service ends approximately
• 11:41 – Standards and Veterans who plan to lay wreaths proceed to pre set positions at Monument, including Bugler
• 11:42 – Veterans etc proceed to Vets monument
• 11:55 – VIP’S arrive to pre set positions, including Piper
• 11:56 – Rev S Fraser conducts short service
• 12:00 – Last Post (Bugler)
• 12:01 – 2 minutes silence
• 12:03 – Reveille (Bugler)
• 12:04 – Wreath laying ceremony ( Lament – Piper)
• 12:15 – Service at Monument ends
• 12:20 – Band and Veterans form up, including Standards.
• 12:30 – March off
• 12:40 – Arrive at destination / Fall out / Lounge for Music and Finger Buffet etc

All Welcome!

COMMEMORATION EVENT FOR WILLIAM HERBERT ANDERSON VC

COMMEMORATION EVENT FOR WILLIAM HERBERT ANDERSON VC

A paving stone to commemorate the centenary of Lieutenant Colonel William Herbert Anderson’s posthumous award of the Victoria Cross was unveiled at the People’s Palace Glasgow on Sunday the 25th March 2018 by two of his great-great-grand-daughters.

Standard bearers Billy Neilson RHF Association (left) and Eric Wallace HLI Association (right)

On 25/3/18 at Bois Favieres, near Maricourt, France, when the enemy attack had penetrated a wood on the right of his line and there was grave danger that the flank of the whole position would be turned, Lt. Colonel Anderson gathered together the remainder of his two companies, counter-attacked and drove the Germans from the wood, capturing 12 machine guns and 70 prisoners. Later the same day, Lt. Col. Anderson led another counter-attack which resulted in the enemy being driven from his position, but the Lt. Colonel died fighting within enemy lines.

Lt. Col. William “Bertie” Anderson was one of four brothers from Lansdowne Crescent in the west end of Glasgow, who served in the HLI in WW1. They were all killed. A novel, The Way Home, written by Robin Scott-Elliot, Bertie’s great-grandson was published in 2007 telling their story. William Herbert Anderson is buried in Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, France.

The folowing message was sent to the HLI Association by Alastair Shepherd, son of former HLI and RHF Colonel Ken Shepherd, who along with his brothers Nigel and Robin, visited the grave of Wiliam Herbert Anderson VC in France on Sunday the 25th March 2018. A fine tribute to both their father and to “Bertie” Anderson…

“Alastair, Nigel and Robin Shepherd are the sons of Colonel Ken Shepherd, ex HLI and RHF. They decided to arrange a trip to the Western Front in 2018, specifically to visit Loos and Sanctuary Wood, where Ken’s father had fought with 4th Gordons in the Great War. By chance they realised they would be in France on the centenary of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel W H “Bertie” Anderson. Anderson had not only served in the HLI, won the VC, he had also been at school at Fettes College ( as had Ken and his children) and had been a member of Moredun House while at Fettes, again like the Shepherd boys. There was therefore no debate, they had to ensure they were at Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt on the 25th to honour his memory.

A simple cross was placed at the graveside in his memory.”         Alastair Shepherd.

Lt Col Anderson’s Victoria Cross is on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum, London.

Further images from the ceremony at Glasgow’s People’s Palace:

L-R Jim Urquhart Billy Neilson Eric Wallace John Lamont
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Eva Bolander, Glasgow’s Lord Provost, welcomed members of Lt Col Anderson’s family; including his grandson, two grand-daughters, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Representatives were also present from The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Royal Highland Fusiliers and of course The Highland Light Infantry.

Captain Witherspoon read the citation and Corporal McLean played a selection of pipes tunes, including the slow march of The 74th Highlanders (The Highland Light Infantry) – both are members of The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

 

Jim Urquhart and Billy Neilson
Eric Wallace and John Lamont
HLI WW2 veteran John Lamont Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur
Lord Provost Eva Bolander lays a wreath
Standards of a Proud Heritage

Photos courtesy of Thomas McCann and Alastair Shepherd

Major Willie Shaw MBE

Major Willie Shaw MBE

It is with great sadness that we report the passing away on the 24th January 2018 of Major Willie Shaw MBE RSF/RHF after a short illness. Willie was a long serving regular soldier, serving in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, then after the amalgamation of the RSF with the HLI in 1959, in the Royal Highland Fusiliers. Latterly he was at RHQ in Glasgow, where many of our members looked forward to his hilarious anecdotes at the regular members lunches. Many of our members also have very fond memories of numerous coach trips run by Willie to old stomping grounds in Germany. He was a true character, and universally admired and respected, and he will be sorely missed.

All of the RHF family of Regimental Association Standards were present for Willie’s funeral service at Masonhill Crematorium, Ayr, on Friday 9 February 2018.
A fond farewell to a fine soldier and a good friend
Angus McWilliam 1st Battalion HLI 1944-47

Angus McWilliam 1st Battalion HLI 1944-47

From Steve Dobson, son of Charlie Dobson 1st Bn HLI 1944-47

A few years ago, I was in touch with my Dad’s friend Angus McWilliam, who had remained in touch with my old man for many years, and was a whole week younger than my Dad. Angus had very kindly sent me some photos and memories to share on the HLI web site.

Freddie Brannan (on left) with Angus McWilliam, somewhere in Palestine or Egypt

Angus and my Dad, Charlie Dobson, had remained friends since meeting on basic training in Northern Ireland in 1944. I’m told that there were three of them in their little gang with a Yorkshireman named Freddie Brannan making up the trio. Freddie Brannan took the photograph below, which shows Bob Hope, with his arm raised pointing at something. Bob Hope was with some American officers and was spotted by Freddie and other lads from the HLI, somewhere on the outskirts of Hamburg a few days before VE day.

Angus told me that despite the HLI being a Scots regiment, at least half of their number were Englishmen back in those days and that there was always lots of banter regarding the various football teams they all supported. Angus was in Hamburg when the war ended and he remembered that part of the Army rations given to the troops was a sweet ration of seven sweets a day. Angus, my Dad and their mate Freddie used to give their sweets, usually caramels, to the local German children. Angus said that the look of delight on the kids’ faces was wonderful to see.

The soldiers were also given a carton of 50, Woodbine or Players Navy Cut cigarettes a week and Angus, being a non smoker, did well trading them with Germans who were desperate for British cigarettes. The photo below is of Charlie Dobson with a pipe clamped in his mouth with a Scots guy who’s name neither Angus or my Dad could remember. My Dad gave up his pipe for a £5 bet when he turned 50, some 40 years ago.

Angus wrote that his memories of the HLI’s time in Palestine and Egypt are of extreme boredom and heat, being stuck in the desert for weeks at a time, with only the occasional jaunt into Jerusalem or Cairo to break the monotony.

Photo above shows Angus McWilliam on right with an unidentified HLI soldier

Photo below is of Freddie Brannan on the right, with a soldier Angus named as Joe McDonald and was taken somewhere in Europe, Belgium or Holland or Germany, sometime in 1945.

Photo below shows a Corporal Murphy sat alongside Angus who appears to be doing a Winston Churchill impression and flashing the V for Victory sign!!

Angus McWilliam of Peterhead passed away 5th June 2013, three days after his 87th birthday. Angus had been unwell and living in a nursing home for some time. Sadly Angus’s wife, Helen, died only a few month’s previously. My Dad, Charlie (Dobson), thought that something was wrong because Angus and himself had always exchanged birthday cards as they were born only 7 days apart. My Dad had turned 87 on May 27th 2013, and for the first time in donkeys years no card from Angus. Angus had turned 87 on June 2nd 2013.  Gone but not forgotten.

Charles Dobson Discharge from the HLI late 1947 – Demob

Charles Dobson Discharge from the HLI late 1947 – Demob

Provided by Steve Dobson

Here is my Dad’s discharge book when he eventually got home after more than three years with the HLI.

There was a slight mistake on the discharge book as my Dad is shown as a Lance Corporal, when he was by that time a Corporal.

My Dad seems to think that the document was signed by a Major who was the 2IC, to the Lieut. Colonel. It looks like the Major was J.G. Coulter or Coultard. It says that Dad’s Military Conduct was Exemplary and the Testimonial reads “Classified Signaller. Thoroughly honest, sober and dependable. Intelligent and thoroughly respectful in his manner. A good signal ??(word unclear)”

Apparently this was the Army equivalent of a letter of recommendation to be used when getting a job.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed Dad’s stories.

Charles Dobson Then and Now

More memories of HLI 1st Battalion in Germany and Palestine. 1944-1947

More memories of HLI 1st Battalion in Germany and Palestine. 1944-1947

Provided by Steve Dobson

My Dad, Charles Robert Dobson, known as Charlie or “Scouse”, was in the HLI, his memory for names of his platoon and company members isn’t brilliant, but I’ve got a few more stories from him that I thought I’d share. Don’t forget that these stories are from a man who is 91, so exact dates and historical accuracy is not guaranteed My father remembers that in Hamburg, his company (A Company) had a Sergeant by the name of BARTELLI. The sergeant was from a Glasgow family who owned a Fish & Chip shop that was right next door to the Maryhill Barracks. Maybe some older Glaswegian’s may remember the shop? I believe that Glasgow was home to a lot of families of Italian descent. Another name he recalls from his platoon was a Geordie from Newcastle by the name of DENNIS COCKING, a guy who was football mad and a dyed in the wool Newcastle United fan. In 1946 a Newcastle player named Albert Stubbins transferred to Liverpool, my Dad’s team. At the time my Dad said it a major move for a record fee of £12,500 and this Dennis Cocking guy moaned and whinged for about two months after the move as he couldn’t believe Stubbins had deserted his home town team for Liverpool. Stubbins’ later claim to fame was an appearance on the front cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the only footballer to be given that honour.

The photo below was taken approximately late 1946 or early 1947 and my Dad appears to be showing off fairly fresh tattoos. They don’t look anywhere near as crisp and sharp now he’s 91 years old.

My Dad also remembers a man by the name of MITCHELL, who won the Military Medal and if you asked him why he had been awarded the medal he would tell you that he got it for throwing snowballs at the Germans. I’d like to know why he had won it? Dad thinks that they had about six MM recipients in the regiment.

There is another reason that my Dad remembers Mitchell, was because their company were detailed as a guard of honour for a visit by the Emir Abdullah, the King of Jordan to the then High Commissioner of Palestine, General Alan Cunningham. The Commissioners residence was at the top of a hill, the King walked up and down the rows of the honour guard, stopping occasionally to speak to some of the soldiers. He stopped to speak to Mitchell who was two away from my Dad. The King said to Mitchell “How long have you been in the British Army?” Mitchell took a breath and bellowed at the top of his lungs “21 years, your Majesty!” The Kings face was a picture apparently.

Another soldier Dad remembers from his platoon was a chap called HARRISON who was a tall, blond lad who came from Keithley in Yorkshire and loved the game of cricket. Many years later watching a TV programme about the bombing of the King David hotel in Jerusalem, there was photo of Harrison stood with his rifle outside the remains of the hotel were 80+ people had died. At the time of the bombing the battalion were in the Allenby Barracks, which was just up the road from the hotel. Several members of the HLI, Dad included, were called out to help get the wounded and dead out of the ruins.

Dad remembers quite a lot of trouble surrounding the issue of demobilisation, a lot of soldiers had been through WWII and now they found themselves in a hot, desolate country, miles from home, whilst others were returning to their wives and families, some of the soldiers got a bit disgruntled. At this time the Battalion had come out of Palestine and were stationed in Egypt. In late 1945 or early 1946 a number of Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) men barricaded themselves on board some barges they were unloading in Port Suez, Egypt, they were protesting because of the slow demob. Some days after they were forcibly brought out of the barges and found themselves posted to other regiments in the area. The 1st HLI received about 20 of the RASC soldiers who were told in no uncertain terms that if any trouble started in the Battalion, then they would immediately have to report to the Company Office for duty, if they failed to report they were told that they would be tried and shot for mutiny.

Some time later in 1946 Dad and a number of other soldiers from the Battalion, including the Commanding Officer, Colonel Rose, were sent home on a 21 day leave. On their return to Egypt they were told that whilst they were away the Battalion had formed a mass march from their camp to take part in a meeting, with other Regiments in the area, at an open air cinema, they too were protesting about the very slow demob. The story goes that the RSM tried to stop the march and had ordered the soldiers on guard duty to fire upon their mates; they refused and let the march pass through. The HLI had been led on the march by a Provost Sergeant named SLOPER, for this act Sgt. Sloper received a term in the glasshouse, my Dad doesn’t remember how long his prison term was. All this had happened under the watch of the 2IC, a Major whose name Dad can’t remember, the Major was very quickly posted away.

Conversely, another story tells of a group of men with age and service group numbers as low as 6 or 7 who were being demobbed, sat on the front of a Jeep crying like babies as their Jeep was towed along by another Jeep. These men were in their late 40’s or early 50’s and the army had been their life since they had left Glasgow years before. My old man said that at the time Glasgow and indeed his home town of Liverpool had terrible slums and these guys knew what they were going back to and preferred army life, harsh as it was.

Finally all that association with Scots must have rubbed off on my Dad, because after he’d returned to Civy Street he met and married a half Scots girl, my Mum, who can trace her family roots back to the early 16th century to the island of Fetlar in Shetland.