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TITLE
The Salerno Mutiny (10 of 15)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_HUGHFRASER_10
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Hugh Fraser
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1676
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.

Interviewer: How did you sort of spend your day while you were being detained?

Och, we amused ourselves as much as we could; we played football, we had sports and - It was just a little, a little unit all on its own. Once again, I must give credit - although I was a corporal at the time and took some part in the proceedings - I must give credit to the sergeants, in particular one of them, Wally Innes, who is unfortunately he's now dead, he was the, he was the camp regimental sergeant-major. He took charge of things. Boy oh boy, anybody who did anything wrong they were brought to boot. But again, those of us who were NCOs, we kept things going. It was just a little unit all on its own - one of the smartest in the whole country there.

Interviewer: What was the feeling, the overall feeling, as the day of the court martial loomed?

I think the feeling was confidence that we would, we would be found not guilty of this heinous charge of mutiny and that people would realise that what we had done was done in the best interest of our - of our own - we were - I'm afraid again I'm getting all uptight, whenever I hear this word Salerno

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The Salerno Mutiny (10 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 /> Interviewer: How did you sort of spend your day while you were being detained?<br /> <br /> Och, we amused ourselves as much as we could; we played football, we had sports and - It was just a little, a little unit all on its own. Once again, I must give credit - although I was a corporal at the time and took some part in the proceedings - I must give credit to the sergeants, in particular one of them, Wally Innes, who is unfortunately he's now dead, he was the, he was the camp regimental sergeant-major. He took charge of things. Boy oh boy, anybody who did anything wrong they were brought to boot. But again, those of us who were NCOs, we kept things going. It was just a little unit all on its own - one of the smartest in the whole country there.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: What was the feeling, the overall feeling, as the day of the court martial loomed?<br /> <br /> I think the feeling was confidence that we would, we would be found not guilty of this heinous charge of mutiny and that people would realise that what we had done was done in the best interest of our - of our own - we were - I'm afraid again I'm getting all uptight, whenever I hear this word Salerno