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TITLE
Interview with Mary Munro about family life during the war
EXTERNAL ID
WD_HF02_TRACK06_ROSSGAELIC
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Portree
DATE OF RECORDING
2005
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Mary & Catriona Munro
SOURCE
Am Baile and War Detectives
ASSET ID
3195
KEYWORDS
World War 2
World War II
Second World War
2nd World War
audio

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Mary Munro's husband was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War 2; her daughter Catriona helps her tell their family's story. The interview was conducted in Gaelic and translated into English.

Were you or anyone in the family involved in war work?

Well, my father was ploughing a field down at the back there where the houses on Kitson Crescent are now, and someone came up to him and said, 'You've got to go off in the morning,' and he left the morning after. And John, my youngest brother, John Allan, went with him and he said to him, 'Oh, you go home. You don't have to to go away at all.' He wasn't the age. No, he wasn't. He was only seventeen, but anyway he paid no attention. So they were then training at Abriachan just outside Inverness, and then they left for the war. And he was only about five or six months in the war when my father was taken prisoner.

Where was he taken prisoner?

Well, in France, and he was sent to Germany after that. Well, that's where my father was - in Germany. But John Allan died in France.

You have a story about a Bible. Would you tell it to us?

Well, the morning that my father was taken prisoner, John Allan was, he was wounded and he died, and one of the lads who was with him took his Bible out of John Allan's pocket and he went up to where my father was and he gave the Bible to my father and in the pages today there are poppies - between each page - and you can still see them.

How many years was your father in the prison camp?

He was nearly five years in the camp and in every letter he sent home he said, 'It'll be over quickly. It won't be long till I'm home.' But it took nearly five years after that.
'Dear Chrissie Flora, Here goes to inform you that I'm - this is in1941, May - in the best of health, looking, hoping you and the remainder of the household are well. I got your letter sent some time ago. Glad you are liking school and see and go to Portree for your holidays in the summer. Hopefully I will be home in the next six months.'
And that was in 1941, and he wasn't home till 1945.

What was he like when he came home?

Well, he was a tall man, six foot, and when he returned from the war he was only around six stones.

Tell us about the dog.

Well, they had a wee dog. Its name was 'Primrose' and when my father came home he couldn't get up the stairs because of the dog - it was so excited - wanting him to take it out. The dog had not forgotten him even after five years!

Did your father talk about the prisoner-of-war camp?

Well, no. Not much. He didn't want to reveal how difficult everything had been. Every morning they'd had to get up around six o'clock and walk the distance of Portree to Borve to the quarries all day, then back again at night. And they didn't have much food at all.

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

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Interview with Mary Munro about family life during the war

INVERNESS: Portree

2000s

World War 2; World War II; Second World War; 2nd World War; audio

Am Baile and War Detectives

War Detectives (interviews)

Mary Munro's husband was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War 2; her daughter Catriona helps her tell their family's story. The interview was conducted in Gaelic and translated into English.<br /> <br /> Were you or anyone in the family involved in war work?<br /> <br /> Well, my father was ploughing a field down at the back there where the houses on Kitson Crescent are now, and someone came up to him and said, 'You've got to go off in the morning,' and he left the morning after. And John, my youngest brother, John Allan, went with him and he said to him, 'Oh, you go home. You don't have to to go away at all.' He wasn't the age. No, he wasn't. He was only seventeen, but anyway he paid no attention. So they were then training at Abriachan just outside Inverness, and then they left for the war. And he was only about five or six months in the war when my father was taken prisoner.<br /> <br /> Where was he taken prisoner?<br /> <br /> Well, in France, and he was sent to Germany after that. Well, that's where my father was - in Germany. But John Allan died in France. <br /> <br /> You have a story about a Bible. Would you tell it to us?<br /> <br /> Well, the morning that my father was taken prisoner, John Allan was, he was wounded and he died, and one of the lads who was with him took his Bible out of John Allan's pocket and he went up to where my father was and he gave the Bible to my father and in the pages today there are poppies - between each page - and you can still see them.<br /> <br /> How many years was your father in the prison camp?<br /> <br /> He was nearly five years in the camp and in every letter he sent home he said, 'It'll be over quickly. It won't be long till I'm home.' But it took nearly five years after that. <br /> 'Dear Chrissie Flora, Here goes to inform you that I'm - this is in1941, May - in the best of health, looking, hoping you and the remainder of the household are well. I got your letter sent some time ago. Glad you are liking school and see and go to Portree for your holidays in the summer. Hopefully I will be home in the next six months.' <br /> And that was in 1941, and he wasn't home till 1945.<br /> <br /> What was he like when he came home?<br /> <br /> Well, he was a tall man, six foot, and when he returned from the war he was only around six stones. <br /> <br /> Tell us about the dog. <br /> <br /> Well, they had a wee dog. Its name was 'Primrose' and when my father came home he couldn't get up the stairs because of the dog - it was so excited - wanting him to take it out. The dog had not forgotten him even after five years! <br /> <br /> Did your father talk about the prisoner-of-war camp?<br /> <br /> Well, no. Not much. He didn't want to reveal how difficult everything had been. Every morning they'd had to get up around six o'clock and walk the distance of Portree to Borve to the quarries all day, then back again at night. And they didn't have much food at all. <br /> <br /> This interview was recorded as part of a War Detectives project in 2005 at Portree Primary School.