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TITLE
Lord Lovat talks about Commando training
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFRLORDLOVAT_08
PLACENAME
Beauly
DISTRICT
Aird
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kilmorack
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Simon Fraser, 17th Lord Lovat
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1543
KEYWORDS
Commandos
Commandoes
armed forces
Second World War
agriculture
laird
lairds
audio

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Simon Fraser, commonly known as the 17th Lord Lovat, (1911-1995), was the 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser and a prominent British Commando during World War II. He was seriously wounded during the invasion of Normandy in 1944 but went on to make a full recovery. In the post-war period he devoted much of his time to politics and looking after the family estates in the Beauly district.

In this audio extract, taken from an interview with Sam Marshall for Moray Firth Radio, Lord Lovat considers the part he played in setting up the Commando Regiments in 1940.

'And we were lucky I think in Commandoes because there were some very good early officers who were all imbued with this determination to take the war back to the enemy. They didn't like the idea of having to retrain on a barrack square and probably not be fit as combatants for a very long time to come. And what troops, and what trained men were available, were all being sent to the Mediterranean where, of course, as you know the Eighth Army were fighting Rommel in the desert. So there seemed no future unless one did something different. Nobody wanted to go on training, marching about on barrack squares, and having very limited facilities to carry out things which obviously could be done if one had boats and could fire off our weapons.

So the Highlands suddenly became a very important area for training volunteers and the Commandoes moved into the Western Highlands in - within a week of the fall of Dunkirk, and the evacuation of Norway, and I was one of the earlier people who was chosen as instructors along with two or three other Scots Guards officers, including two cousins; Colonel David and Bill Stirling who were my first cousins, as it happened. And one of those cousins raised the S.A.S. Regiment after having been an instructor at Lochailort. And we started a training centre at Lochailort which was called the Irregular Warfare School and requisitioned all the deer forests from Achnacarry right out to Knoydart in the far west, so we had 250,000 acres to train over, and we were given as much ammunition, as high explosives as was needed for blowing things up and shooting at each other, and we really conducted a war of our own. And the ones that couldn't make it were given the sack and sent back to their regiments, but we did eventually come out as a pretty fine organisation consisting of twelve Commandoes'

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Lord Lovat talks about Commando training

INVERNESS: Kilmorack

1980s

Commandos; Commandoes; armed forces; Second World War; agriculture; laird; lairds; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Lord Lovat

Simon Fraser, commonly known as the 17th Lord Lovat, (1911-1995), was the 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser and a prominent British Commando during World War II. He was seriously wounded during the invasion of Normandy in 1944 but went on to make a full recovery. In the post-war period he devoted much of his time to politics and looking after the family estates in the Beauly district. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, taken from an interview with Sam Marshall for Moray Firth Radio, Lord Lovat considers the part he played in setting up the Commando Regiments in 1940. <br /> <br /> 'And we were lucky I think in Commandoes because there were some very good early officers who were all imbued with this determination to take the war back to the enemy. They didn't like the idea of having to retrain on a barrack square and probably not be fit as combatants for a very long time to come. And what troops, and what trained men were available, were all being sent to the Mediterranean where, of course, as you know the Eighth Army were fighting Rommel in the desert. So there seemed no future unless one did something different. Nobody wanted to go on training, marching about on barrack squares, and having very limited facilities to carry out things which obviously could be done if one had boats and could fire off our weapons. <br /> <br /> So the Highlands suddenly became a very important area for training volunteers and the Commandoes moved into the Western Highlands in - within a week of the fall of Dunkirk, and the evacuation of Norway, and I was one of the earlier people who was chosen as instructors along with two or three other Scots Guards officers, including two cousins; Colonel David and Bill Stirling who were my first cousins, as it happened. And one of those cousins raised the S.A.S. Regiment after having been an instructor at Lochailort. And we started a training centre at Lochailort which was called the Irregular Warfare School and requisitioned all the deer forests from Achnacarry right out to Knoydart in the far west, so we had 250,000 acres to train over, and we were given as much ammunition, as high explosives as was needed for blowing things up and shooting at each other, and we really conducted a war of our own. And the ones that couldn't make it were given the sack and sent back to their regiments, but we did eventually come out as a pretty fine organisation consisting of twelve Commandoes'