British officer served with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders in India and Burma, 1942-1945. Civilian journalist and publisher in India, 1946-1956
REEL 1 Background in Glasgow, 1920-1939: family; education. Reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939. Aspects of period of army training with British Army in GB, 1940-1941: problems getting into army, 1939-1940; officer cadet training at Dunbar, 1940-1941. Aspects of period with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders in GB, 1941-1942: contrasts between regular and wartime officers; billet with mine owner in Thorne; coastal defence duties in Filey area. Voyage from GB to Bombay, 1942. Recollections of period with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders in India, 1942-1944: arrival in Bombay, 6/1942; contact with Indian civilians; anti-British comment by Sikh watch-maker in Bombay, 6/1942; reaction to aiding civil power at Guntar, 8/1942; effect on British military thinking of Japanese tactics, 1942; role with guerilla platoon and contact with civilian attitudes in Western Ghats area.
REEL 2 Continues: ideas about US, 1942; effect of Indian situation on his ideas about Empire; attitude towards Quit India movement; explanation for delay of unit not going into action, 1943-1944. Recollections of operations with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders at Kohima, India, 1944: role as platoon commander; composition of platoon; flight from Jorhat to Kohima to join unit; reaction to jungle warfare; patrolling; opinion of Japanese troops; pro-British attitude of Nagas; opening of road to Imphal; condition of troops after Kohima fighting.
REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders in Burma, 1944-1945: role of non-British elements in Allied armies; condition of Japanese in Tamu area; attitude of troops towards Japanese; problems of crossing River Irrawaddy; problems of attacking Japanese during advance, 1945. Attitude to having served with 1st Bn Cameron Highlanders in Second World War. Recollections of period as journalist and publisher in India, 1945-1956: Independence celebrations, 1947; character of austerity in GB, late 1940s; job as free-lance newspaper correspondent and then book importer; attitude to political course India was following; reaction to attending riots; pro-British attitudes of Parsees in Bombay; attitude to communal basis of Pakistan state.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.