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TITLE
The Salerno Mutiny (1 of 15)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_HUGHFRASER_01
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Hugh Fraser
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1663
KEYWORDS
mutinies
World War II
Second World War
Territorials
audio

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Hugh Fraser, a native of Inverness, was one of the soldiers involved in the Salerno Mutiny in September 1943, when 192 men refused to take orders during the Allied invasion of southern Italy. The mutineers had become separated from their units in North Africa. After being told they would be returning to their own regiments in Salerno, they discovered they were being grouped with American troops fighting for the city. The soldiers refused to comply, claiming they had been lied to, but they were subsequently tried and found guilty. Three sergeants were initially sentenced to death - subsequently commuted to twelve years' imprisonment. The corporals received sentences of ten years and the remainder, seven years. However, all sentences were subsequently formally suspended, dependant upon no further misconduct. An official pardon, however, was never received.

In this audio extract, originally recorded in the 1990s for 'Moray Firth People', Hugh relates his experience of the mutiny.

'I was born in Madras Street in Inverness seventy-four years ago anyway, on the eleventh of September. I don't remember anything about Madras Street because my parents shifted up to Church Street. I remember Church Street exceptionally well. That's - I made a lot of good friends. I went to school at the Central School across the river and after that I went to the Academy, leaving the Academy after three years there. I'm afraid my parents - It was a - I went to the Academy on a bursary. Three years hence I had to leave; my parents couldn't afford to keep me on. So, I left - I got a job as a clerk in Edmundsons, in Queensgate, stayed there for a short time and then eventually I became employed as a swimming instructor at the baths in Inverness.

I joined the 4th Battalion, which was a Territorial Battalion, as I've said to you not for any high faluting ideas of patriotism; a lot of my mates joined and it was more or less a social club. I can't remember all the names but I can certainly remember Davy Macintosh and Bobby MacIntosh. I joined the 4th Camerons early on in 1939; I can't remember the exact date but I remember going to a camp, that summer. And then, come the outbreak of war we were all called up, of course.

Well, we moved about from - I can't remember the exact sequence - we were stationed up in Tain; we were stationed in Muir of Ord; we were stationed in Thurso. A lot of my time was spent as a Battalion Physical Training Instructor - I did a physical training course at Fort George - and I spent a lot of my time as a Physical Training Instructor. Our final posting in this country was down somewhere in England - I can't remember the exact name of the place - but it was down there somewhere and that was our last posting in this country. We left to go abroad in - left for the Middle East in - I think it was in July 1942'

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The Salerno Mutiny (1 of 15)

1990s

mutinies; World War II; Second World War; Territorials; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: The Salerno Mutiny

Hugh Fraser, a native of Inverness, was one of the soldiers involved in the Salerno Mutiny in September 1943, when 192 men refused to take orders during the Allied invasion of southern Italy. The mutineers had become separated from their units in North Africa. After being told they would be returning to their own regiments in Salerno, they discovered they were being grouped with American troops fighting for the city. The soldiers refused to comply, claiming they had been lied to, but they were subsequently tried and found guilty. Three sergeants were initially sentenced to death - subsequently commuted to twelve years' imprisonment. The corporals received sentences of ten years and the remainder, seven years. However, all sentences were subsequently formally suspended, dependant upon no further misconduct. An official pardon, however, was never received.<br /> <br /> In this audio extract, originally recorded in the 1990s for 'Moray Firth People', Hugh relates his experience of the mutiny.<br /> <br /> 'I was born in Madras Street in Inverness seventy-four years ago anyway, on the eleventh of September. I don't remember anything about Madras Street because my parents shifted up to Church Street. I remember Church Street exceptionally well. That's - I made a lot of good friends. I went to school at the Central School across the river and after that I went to the Academy, leaving the Academy after three years there. I'm afraid my parents - It was a - I went to the Academy on a bursary. Three years hence I had to leave; my parents couldn't afford to keep me on. So, I left - I got a job as a clerk in Edmundsons, in Queensgate, stayed there for a short time and then eventually I became employed as a swimming instructor at the baths in Inverness.<br /> <br /> I joined the 4th Battalion, which was a Territorial Battalion, as I've said to you not for any high faluting ideas of patriotism; a lot of my mates joined and it was more or less a social club. I can't remember all the names but I can certainly remember Davy Macintosh and Bobby MacIntosh. I joined the 4th Camerons early on in 1939; I can't remember the exact date but I remember going to a camp, that summer. And then, come the outbreak of war we were all called up, of course. <br /> <br /> Well, we moved about from - I can't remember the exact sequence - we were stationed up in Tain; we were stationed in Muir of Ord; we were stationed in Thurso. A lot of my time was spent as a Battalion Physical Training Instructor - I did a physical training course at Fort George - and I spent a lot of my time as a Physical Training Instructor. Our final posting in this country was down somewhere in England - I can't remember the exact name of the place - but it was down there somewhere and that was our last posting in this country. We left to go abroad in - left for the Middle East in - I think it was in July 1942'