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TITLE
The Salerno Mutiny (15 of 15)
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFR_HUGHFRASER_15
PERIOD
1990s
CREATOR
Hugh Fraser
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1683
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 in convalescent camp for quite some time; I think I was about six or seven months in hospital. I was released at one time but had to go back again because my wound had opened up. I had a hole in the middle of my chest, an enormous hole across my chest, from the centre of my chest to my left arm. I convalesced for a long time until eventually I was re-examined and I was - my medical category was reduced from A1 to B1, temporarily, in that I was unable to wear equipment. Thereafter I was transferred to the RASC [Royal Army Service Corps], finished up at GHQ Second Echelon, at Maddaloni, near Naples, and I finished my war there.

One time - a most odd experience there too. I was going through some correspondence in a file there and I came across a telegram which had been sent by the commanding officer of the 5th Camerons, sent to GHQ, asking that I be sent back to my - to the battalion, to the 5th Camerons, as soon as possible. This telegram - it was filed away somewhere quietly - and no action was taken on it as far as I was aware, so I finished my war there and I was demobbed in 1946 and that was it. When the war was finished - I think I applied for the police while I was still abroad - but in any event, I came home and I went back to my old job at the swimming baths in Inverness, and a very short time thereafter, I went up to the castle at Inverness, I sat a wee exam there, nothing at all, and I passed this, strange to say, and I joined the Aberdeen City Police, and that was the start of my police career'

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The Salerno Mutiny (15 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 in convalescent camp for quite some time; I think I was about six or seven months in hospital. I was released at one time but had to go back again because my wound had opened up. I had a hole in the middle of my chest, an enormous hole across my chest, from the centre of my chest to my left arm. I convalesced for a long time until eventually I was re-examined and I was - my medical category was reduced from A1 to B1, temporarily, in that I was unable to wear equipment. Thereafter I was transferred to the RASC [Royal Army Service Corps], finished up at GHQ Second Echelon, at Maddaloni, near Naples, and I finished my war there. <br /> <br /> One time - a most odd experience there too. I was going through some correspondence in a file there and I came across a telegram which had been sent by the commanding officer of the 5th Camerons, sent to GHQ, asking that I be sent back to my - to the battalion, to the 5th Camerons, as soon as possible. This telegram - it was filed away somewhere quietly - and no action was taken on it as far as I was aware, so I finished my war there and I was demobbed in 1946 and that was it. When the war was finished - I think I applied for the police while I was still abroad - but in any event, I came home and I went back to my old job at the swimming baths in Inverness, and a very short time thereafter, I went up to the castle at Inverness, I sat a wee exam there, nothing at all, and I passed this, strange to say, and I joined the Aberdeen City Police, and that was the start of my police career'