My Dad’s a Goldfish – Wishing I’d listened

cropped-goldfish-87-1254566814ncva1.jpg

I’ve been sifting through a box of the Goldfish’s old photos wishing I’d paid more attention to the things he told me: about his childhood, his school days, his army days, his life as an adult on Islay (as opposed to my life as a child on Islay).   

I know he was in the Lovat Scouts. I think he joined up in 1944, which is when he turned 18. I think he may have done his initial training near Aberdeen. He was at some point stationed at a prisoner-of-war camp but I’m not sure where – possibly what’s now the Barony Agricultural College – though he told me of wonderful models the prisoners made of water wheels and bridges. He went to Greece, via Italy and when he talked about being in the army it was usually about that time in Greece he talked. He was stationed in Athens, billeted with a family there. Image200714143218-000

I know he loved it there – the people, the sunshine, the historical sites. I remember him talking about the fun of bargaining for things in the markets until the Americans arrived. They had so much money in their pockets and everything was, in their eyes, already so cheap they saw no need to bargain. Prices shot up making it harder for the British soldiers and taking away much of the cultural exchanges enjoyed before.

Anyone he served with still alive will be in their nineties. Maybe, though, their sons and daughters are, like me, now wishing they had paid more attention to the stories they were told. Maybe they have some old snapshots with faded names scribbled on a couple of them and are wondering about the pals their fathers had in Greece.

Here are some of the photos the Goldfish kept all those years. I’d be pleased if you could share far and wide just in case one of them rings a bell with someone whose father was in the Lovat Scouts from 1944. Some if not most of these photos seem to be taken in Salerno on their way to Greece. He also took many in Greece but mainly of the sites he visited rather than people. However, many photos remain to be sorted out.

IMG_0065
On the left is someone called Trevor. Possibly in Salerno.

 

IMG_0008

John Dunlop on the left

IMG_0027

John Dunlop second from the right – others unknown

IMG_0022

John Dunlop in the centre

IMG_0018

Tea time outside the tents. John Dunlop on left. I’m assuming this is the camp at Salerno before they went to Greece.

IMG_0010

In Greece? Unknown person on the left.

 

IMG_0063

Man on left called Bob

 

IMG_0061

On the back of this photo is written: Taken at the camp in Salerno Thursday 28/12/45. Dad was 19.

 

IMG_0069

Dad is not in this photo of what I take is a football team.

IMG_0067

Unknown soldier but must have been a friend of dad’s for him to have kept it.

IMG_0016

Dad on right on second row.

IMG_0024

John Dunlop on left, front row.

IMG_0030

RMS Otranto. This is not the HMS Otranto from WW1. RMS – Royal Mail Ship – became a troop ship and I think John Dunlop sailed to Italy in it or from Italy to Greece.

Advertisements