From the front­line

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

hav­ing a ra­dio, of still hop­ing to hear the July 1945 Gen­eral Elec­tion.

And on Au­gust 12, 1945, with the end of the war draw­ing ever closer, Jack writes: “To­day there have been ru­mours ga­lore fly­ing round the neigh­bour­hood re­gard­ing the ac­cep­tance of sur­ren­der by Ja­pan. To date, of course, noth­ing is of­fi­cial but I am sure the news we are all await­ing will not be long de­layed.”

Dorothy, who has re­searched the con­flict, said: “When I read dad’s letters I won­dered what had hap­pened in 1944 when there was a gap in the letters so I did some re­search.

“I found out that the turn­ing point of the war in Burma was the Im­phal/ Ko­hima cam­paign of 1944. Ac­cord­ing to Ma­jor Gen­eral Ian Lyall Grant MC ‘for four months there was in­tense and sav­age fight­ing in many places but the heav­i­est fight­ing of all was along the road lead­ing from Tid­dim to Im­phal. Af­ter three weeks the Ja­panese were not only de­feated but vir­tu­ally an­ni­hi­lated...the door to Burma was now un­de­fended and Gen­eral Slim’s Four­teenth Army flooded through it to win the great vic­to­ries of 1945’.

“These were the men, in­clud­ing my dad, who marched through Burma and who, with their com­rades, marched in the Vic­tory Pa­rade in Rangoon.

“They fought, they won, they never for­got. On the last day of his life he spoke of it, though I be­lieve he bore no ill will to­ward present day Ja­panese.

“As the supreme com­man­der Field Mar­shall Sir Wil­liam Slim un­veiled in his book ‘De­feat into Vic­tory’ the war in Burma was a sol­diers’ war.

“It rested on their courage, their hardi­hood, their re­fusal to be beaten.”

It was 1946 be­fore Jack re­turned home to Re­gent Street, in the Royal Burgh Ruther­glen, and to his job as a hos­pi­tal engi­neer at the South­ern Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Glas­gow.

He met Eileen Kelly from Vic­to­ria Street, Ruther­glen, a su­per­vi­sor in Wool­worths in the Main Street on Hog­manay 1947.

They were mar­ried on Hog­manay the fol­low­ing year.

The cou­ple had a son, John, born in 1950, who was also a heat­ing engi­neer, and a daugh­ter, Dorothy, born in 1953, a jour­nal­ist and lec­turer. Jack died in 1990 with Eileen pass­ing away in 2010.

More mem­o­ries of Ruther­glen dur­ing the Sec­ond World War are con­tained in ‘Home Town Tales’ by Jack’s daugh­ter Dorothy and is on sale in Ruther­glen Li­brary.

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