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TITLE
Interview with Major-General Robertson about his wartime career in the Army
EXTERNAL ID
WD_BF01_TRACK01_ROBERTSON_01
DATE OF RECORDING
2005
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Major-General Robertson
SOURCE
Am Baile and War Detectives
ASSET ID
3134
KEYWORDS
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
wars
Armed Forces
army
battalions
regiments
campaign
campaigns
battles
military
audio

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Major-General Robertson from Cawdor served in the Army in Africa, Sicily and Normandy.

How were you involved in the war?

Well, when I left, when I stopped being this Adjutant or secretary at Fort George, I joined, I joined a battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders called, which was the Fifth Battalion. And they didn't wear Mackenzie tartan, which the other Seaforths did; they wore Sutherland tartan because they came from Sutherland and Caithness. And I joined them in Dingwall and we spent quite a time - two years, I suppose - training all over the north of Scotland.

And then we moved down to England and eventually shipped out to Africa. We stopped on the way at Cape Town and we had an escort. The whole division went out. The Highland Division consisted of about 15,000, 15,000 men and we all went out by ship, round South Africa, because you couldn't go through the Mediterranean then because it was too dangerous. So we went all the way round by South Africa, escorted by battle-ships and destroyers. And I don't think we had any trouble from the enemy ships going round. But we stopped at South Africa, just for a few days, and it was interesting that quite a number of people there were pro-German. There was a big German population in South Africa and had been for a long time. So, although most of them were very pleasant, there were some, a few unpleasant people.

And then eventually we arrived in Egypt and went to a camp outside Alexandria. And from there we then the next thing was the Battle of Alamein, which was a main battle, which changed the face of the war really. And I continued with that battalion for a bit, until I became Brigade Major. Again, that was a sort of secretary's job again. I can't really explain the organisation of the Army to you, but that's what I was doing; I was a sort of secretary.

I finished the African war and then we embarked and we went to Sicily and we landed in Sicily. And then when we'd finished the Sicily campaign, we came back to this country and then I went to Normandy with another organisation. We landed on D-Day on Gold Beach, which is the east beach, next door to the Americans. Er no, the west beach, Gold Beach, next door to the Americans. And I was there for about a month and then I was sent home to be a teacher, to teach other officers how they should do their jobs. And that was in Camberley and that really was the end of the war for me, until I went out to Malaya, to Indonesia. You know about Indonesia and the wave that did so much damage? Then the islands were called Java and Sumatra - the north island was called Sumatra and the south island was called Java. And the war went on there although peace had been made here. The war went on there - there were a great many casualties - continued long after the war had finished here. So that's really what I did. I went to Africa and Sicily and Normandy.

This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Cawdor Primary School.

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Interview with Major-General Robertson about his wartime career in the Army

2000s

World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; wars; Armed Forces; army; battalions; regiments; campaign; campaigns; battles; military; audio

Am Baile and War Detectives

War Detectives (interviews)

Major-General Robertson from Cawdor served in the Army in Africa, Sicily and Normandy.<br /> <br /> How were you involved in the war?<br /> <br /> Well, when I left, when I stopped being this Adjutant or secretary at Fort George, I joined, I joined a battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders called, which was the Fifth Battalion. And they didn't wear Mackenzie tartan, which the other Seaforths did; they wore Sutherland tartan because they came from Sutherland and Caithness. And I joined them in Dingwall and we spent quite a time - two years, I suppose - training all over the north of Scotland. <br /> <br /> And then we moved down to England and eventually shipped out to Africa. We stopped on the way at Cape Town and we had an escort. The whole division went out. The Highland Division consisted of about 15,000, 15,000 men and we all went out by ship, round South Africa, because you couldn't go through the Mediterranean then because it was too dangerous. So we went all the way round by South Africa, escorted by battle-ships and destroyers. And I don't think we had any trouble from the enemy ships going round. But we stopped at South Africa, just for a few days, and it was interesting that quite a number of people there were pro-German. There was a big German population in South Africa and had been for a long time. So, although most of them were very pleasant, there were some, a few unpleasant people. <br /> <br /> And then eventually we arrived in Egypt and went to a camp outside Alexandria. And from there we then the next thing was the Battle of Alamein, which was a main battle, which changed the face of the war really. And I continued with that battalion for a bit, until I became Brigade Major. Again, that was a sort of secretary's job again. I can't really explain the organisation of the Army to you, but that's what I was doing; I was a sort of secretary. <br /> <br /> I finished the African war and then we embarked and we went to Sicily and we landed in Sicily. And then when we'd finished the Sicily campaign, we came back to this country and then I went to Normandy with another organisation. We landed on D-Day on Gold Beach, which is the east beach, next door to the Americans. Er no, the west beach, Gold Beach, next door to the Americans. And I was there for about a month and then I was sent home to be a teacher, to teach other officers how they should do their jobs. And that was in Camberley and that really was the end of the war for me, until I went out to Malaya, to Indonesia. You know about Indonesia and the wave that did so much damage? Then the islands were called Java and Sumatra - the north island was called Sumatra and the south island was called Java. And the war went on there although peace had been made here. The war went on there - there were a great many casualties - continued long after the war had finished here. So that's really what I did. I went to Africa and Sicily and Normandy.<br /> <br /> This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Cawdor Primary School.