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Wartime journey

Dan Rough Devonport, Tasmania, Australia

SIR – I write to share my personal experience of the Flying Scotsman (“Scotsman restored,” Letters, Issue 1,281).

During the Second World War, early in 1940, my two brothers and I were leaving Glasgow for London to rejoin our parents who had moved there with our father’s work.

Having boarded and taken our places we were soon joined by kilted Scottish troops who packed the train so tightly that my sixyear-old brother Jim was put up in the luggage rack and my 11year-old brother George slipped under one of the bench seats.

I, seven years old, was tucked up into a corner seat.

While, ordinarily, any group of young men going somewhere would share enthusiasm about their anticipated experience, I recall that these men were subdued and quite solicitous about the three of us.

Upon arrival in London they made sure that we were located by our mother. It was then that we realised these, mainly young men, were about to go to war.

One wonders how many of our troops were carried by the Flying Scotsman on those momentous journeys?

Within a year we three and our new schoolmates were on another train journey from London to St Ives, Cornwall, which took all day. We remained there for the duration of the war, returning home to Greenford in June 1945.

George has gone but Jim and I are now 82 and 83 years old.





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