One of the most outstanding artillery fortifications in Europe, Fort George stands sentinel on a promontory in the Moray Firth, near Inverness. Named after George ll, it was built as an impregnable base for his army following the Jacobite defeat at nearby Culloden in April 1746. Never seeing action, it has remained in continuous use as a garrison ever since.
This is the story of one of the Second World War's most unusual animal heroes - a 14-stone St Bernard who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe. His life-saving heroic actions posthumously won him the PDSA Gold Medal for Gallantry.
At the age of nineteen, Glasgow-born John McCallum signed up as a Supplementary Reservist in the Signal Corps. A little over a year later, he was in France, working frantically to set up communication lines as Europe once more hurtled towards war. Wounded and captured at Boulogne, he was sent to the notorious Stalag VIIIB prison camp, together with his brother, Jimmy, and friend Joe Harkin.
Ingenious and resourceful, the three men set about planning their escape. With the help of Traudl, a local girl,they put their plan into action. In an astonishing coincidence, they passed through the town of Sagan, around which the seventy-six airmen of the Great Escape were being pursued and caught. However, unlike most of these other escapees, John, Jimmy and Joe eventually made it to freedom. Now, due to the declassification of documents under the Official Secrets Act, John McCallum is finally able to tell the thrilling story of his adventure, in which he recaptures all the danger, audacity and romance of one of the most daring escapes of the Second World War.
Gallipoli, 1915. Donald Peter (DP) Gillies, a young Lovat Scout soldier, lies in a field hospital, blinded by the Turks.
There he and his Queen Alexandra Corps nurse, Louise, fall in love. In the quiet hours he tells her of his home in the West Highlands of Scotland,of the beauty of its lochs and glens, and the struggle to save the old way of life. She in turn tells her own story of a harsh and unforgiving upbringing in the Welsh Valleys.
Donald Angus Gillies enjoys an idyllic childhood on the remote peninsula of Ardnish, steeped in the history and traditions of the scottish Highlands.Like his father and grandfather before him he joins the Lovat Scouts, and shortly after the Second World War breaks out he is recruited by the Special Operations Executive.
An expert in explosives and sabotage, Donald Angus is parachuted into the Alps to support the Resistance. There he meets a beautiful young French-Canadian SOE agent, Francoise, and Donald Angus quickly discovers that falling in love makes life of an SOE operative doubly dangerous.
In the aftermath of a top secret mission fraught with risk, both must somehow find superhuman resources of strength and ingenuity to survive in a world torn apart by war......
On 31st December 1918, His Majesty's Yacht Iolaire sailed from Kyle of Lochalsh for Stornoway,bearing home to the Hebrides nearly 300 naval veterans of the Great War.
She never made it. At two in the morning, she ran aground by the very mouth of Stornoway harbour, and over 200 men drowned in what remains Britain's biggest peacetime disaster at sea since the loss of the Titanic - devastating the Isle of Lewis and scarring a generation.
Acclaimed journalist John MacLeod examines the events of that dreadful night and uncover a story not only of official incompetence, error and neglect but also of individual heroism and the resilience and faith of a remarkable people.
Tickets are now available for an fascinating evening talk on the 25th April 2019 at The Highlanders’ Museum, Fort George where Tim Bean, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst explores what has been voted Britain’s Greatest Battle.
75 years ago in the spring of 1944, the all-conquering Japanese – supported by Indian nationalists, launched a major offensive against the Anglo-Indian 14th Army at Imphal & Kohima, with the intention of pre-empting the Allies re-invasion of South East Asia and potentially seizing India & the Raj.
Against a backdrop of jungle-clad mountainous terrain, monsoon rains, hazardous lines of communication a panoply of British, Indian, Gurkha, African, American, Chinese, local indigenous tribes and others took on a dogged and menacing enemy in some of the hardest fought and bloodiest engagements in history.
The Imphal-Kohima battles featured a number of Scottish units, significantly; The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, the 3rd Caribiniers - later the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards – and the Gordon Highlanders in an anti-tank artillery role.
“When you go home tell them of us and say for your tomorrow we gave our today” – 2nd British Division War Memorial, Kohima
For an evening of light refreshments and a fascinating talk for £10 per person.
25th April 2019
Registration from 18:30 with light refreshments for a 19:15 talk start, with a Q&A session to follow.
There will be no tickets issued, if you leave the following details and this will allow you entry into the Fort
Patrick Watt was born in Inverness and grew up in the seaside town of Nairn. In 2000, he moved to Edinburgh to work for the Scottish Government, before transferring to the National Archives of Scotland in 2002. After six years working in the Historical Search Room, he moved to Istanbul, Turkey and studied for a BA in History with the Open University.
Patrick moved back to Edinburgh in the Autumn of 2009 and began writing Steel and Tartan, his first book, which he completed in the spring of 2011. He currently lives in Istanbul.