Saturday, 14 February 2009

Thistle & Poppy Society, Battle of Ayette talk

A quick heads-up for anyone who might not have seen the following post on the Great War Forum.

"A talk will be given on the Battle for Ayette and the involvement in the said attack by the 15th (Glasgow Tramways) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry, The meeting will be held in the Carwood Centre in Bridgeton Public Library in Landressy Street, Glasgow on Saturday 28th March at 1.00 pm all who are interested please register as soon as possible - the talk is free and there will be ample car parking for those who attend. Refreshments and snacks will be available throughout the day...which means a well stocked bar in anyone's language!"

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


An interesting article appeared in the Scottish Sun today. Text "borrowed" below for anyone who doesn't buy the paper.

I did a little bit of homework into Berenger Bradford, as I was curious about the medal ribbon in the photograph published. The National Archives has three results for him inb their lists of recommendations for honours and awards. Two DSO and a Military Cross, although on looking at one of them it states he had previously been awarded an MBE and a Mention in Despatches. Apparently he was wounded in Normandy but recovered sufficiently from his wounds to take command of the battle and lead his troops by sitting on the front of a tank and directing it to the front line. A brave fellow, all told.

THE son of a World War II hero has cracked a secret code in his dad’s letters home — nearly 70 years on.

Captain Berenger Bradford escaped from a PoW camp in Germany and went on the run to France and Algeria before getting back to Britain to lead an assault in the Normandy Landings.

Fan mail ... proud son Andrew

Fan mail ... proud son Andrew

He travelled nearly 5,000 miles in a year while fleeing the Nazis and sent a string of encoded letters to the War Office and his parents in Aberdeenshire.


When Bradford died in 1996, his son Andrew, 54, discovered the cache of letters and has spent years unravelling their secrets.

Andrew, the Laird of Kincardine Castle and Estate, said: “In his writing he secreted the message by weighting some of the letters slightly lighter than the normal text.

“When you glance at the letter you cannot see this so you then have to produce a trigger to alert the reader.

“I looked at one letter for days then suddenly something twigged — it was very exciting when you saw the words coming out.

“In some of his later letters he had concealed messages within the lining of the envelope. He was just trying to feed what information he could and tell his father where he was.”

After navigating 700 miles back to Britain in a 17ft boat from Algeria, Bradford became a colonel and led soldiers from the 51st Highland Division into battle in Normandy in 1944.