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Memories of the War - Quentin & Angela Macdougall

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posted on 2024-06-05, 19:24 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Story 1: John was in the army, in the Dunkirk mission. From March to May 1914 he was posted in Northern France. Walked 50 miles from Northern France to Dunkirk. They slept in orchards, woods and ditches. Everywhere was deserted so they could get food and resources from passing farms, they were bombed all the way. Arrived at the end of May 1914. John remembered waiting on the Dunkirk beach for rescue. He went off on a boat called the HMS Windsor. He was later posted in Northern Africa by the Suez Canal, where he swam in the canal. They were visited in the night by animals who sat around them and howled. He was later involved in the battle of El Alamein in Northern Africa. Suffered a very bad injury, taken home in a medical boat.

Story 2: He lived in Aberfoyle in Scotland, a young boy around the age of 7. His father, Dr Hamish Macdougall, christened James Wink Macdougall, was a doctor for wounded soldiers. He remembers breaking into an ammunition store and playing, stripping and throwing the bombs with friends. They didn't know what they were. The army came so they ran but they caught his elder brother and told him how lucky they were to be alive. Another friend pulled an ammunition plug and blew himself up. Ammunition was still lying around after the war ended. There were lots of prisoner-of-war camps. One nearby contained lots of Italian prisoners - very friendly. A god went missing and the owner was very worried - but it turned out one of the POWs was looking after it.

Rations: his family would also use two vegetarian elderly ladies meat ration as well as their own. They grew their own veg. They had powdered eggs for meals - disgusting. It was easy to get lost on the roads as all signs were taken down in case of German invasion. Because they had a bigger house the army would sometimes come and stay. People would get married in uniform and carry on working straight after because they didn't know what would happen on any day. Clocks were put forward two hours during WW2 then changed back. In his 30s he still wondered why it was lighter at the same hour.


Person the story/items relate to

Story 1: John Watson - father of Angela Story 2: Quentin Macdougall - contributor

Person who shared the story/items

Quentin & Angela Macdougall

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Story 1: John Watson - father of Angela Story 2: Quentin Macdougall - contributor

Type of submission

Shared at Oundle School, Northamptonshire on 15 March 2023.

Record ID

106718 | OUN007