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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Military Monday - Eisenhower's Visit to a Scottish Village

M"As we mark the end of the Second World War in Europe, here are two photographs from the collection of my local heritage group in Earlston, a Berwickshire village in the rural Scottish Borders. 

The photographs  recollect  the time in 1944 when General Eisenhower came to inspect Polish soldiers from  a tank regiment who were stationed in the village.

General Eisenhower arriving at Earlston Station to inspect the 
Polish Tank Regiment stationed in the village in 1944. 

 Tanks in Earlston Square - note the two little boys giving them close inspection!

Following the formation of the 1st Polish Armoured Division, in February 1942 at Duns, the county town of Berwickshire, Polish troops under the command of General Stanislav Maczek  trained across Scotland including Berwickshire, before taking part in the Normandy Landings of 1944.   At its peak, the division numbered 16,000 soldiers. 

In Earlston,  the rugby club pitch and clubhouse were requisitioned by the military. Approximately one third of the pitch was dug out and concrete laid to make a  "hull-down" park for the tanks  stationed in the area preparing for D-Day.  

Earlston was far away from military action and  from the wartime devastation that hit so many parts of Britain, yet here it was playing a role in the D Day offensive.

                                               Wartime photograph courtesy of Auld Earlston

Military Monday is one of many daily prompts from www.geneabloggers.com encouraging&@ bloggers to record their family history.


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