Location: Arran
gaelic culture, ww1 and ww2

Leaving Arran for war and heaven

"Sadly, my Grandfather died when my father was only 14, it was decided he would be buried in Campbeltown, where his family came from. Unfortunately, my Grandmother could not attend as she had only recently given birth to the youngest, my aunt Alice, so my father and his younger brother Peter sat on their father's coffin as it was taken on an open boat over Kilbrannan sound, a haunting image.

"A few years later, the Second World war broke out. My father (Tommy) was keen to join. He applied numerous times but was always refused as he was working on the land, which was deemed a reserved occupation. He was so determined to join up he went to see the Duke of Hamilton for help. The Duke agreed and wrote to the authorities; it worked. My father got a message to say that he could join up, but because it was breaking the rules, he would only be offered one position, Rear Gunner on a Lancaster bomber! A very dangerous job. Fifty-five thousand men died fighting for Bomber Command, and the life expectancy was not long. Luckily my father survived the war, and I have his Bomber Command medals to this day.

"My grandparents worked at Dougarie on Arran for the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton in the 1920s. My Grandfather, Robert Hume, was employed as a boatman and my Grandmother, Catherine, as a cook at the Lodge. The estate gave them a cottage to live in with their nine children, seven sons and two daughters, and my father was the oldest."

As told by Wyllie Hume

More information on visiting the area can be found here.