I recently read your 2010 blog entry on the Cameronian website. Like your father, my father—L/Cpl. James Jordan, D Company, served in the 7th Cameronians during WWII.
When I was young, my father told me many tales of his six years with the 7th Cameronians. But later in his life, he didn’t speak much about it and thus I never really knew the full story. Unfortunately, my father died in 2004 and is no longer with us for him to tell his story. Recently I’ve been doing a great deal of research trying to piece together as much as I can of my father’s wartime service. Last year, I received his complete service record. And from the National Archives, I now have the entire WWII “War Diaries” of the 7th Cameronians. Through these official records and reports, I have a much fuller idea of where the battalion—and my father—were throughout the war.
Last month, my son and I took a bike trip through Zeeland and visited Dutch towns that my father and the 7th Cameronians had fought to liberate in Oct-Nov 1944 (Baarland – Oudeland – Ellewoutsdijk – Arnemuiden – Kleverskerke - Veere). In Ellewoutsdijk, we paid tribute to my father’s “best pal”—Rfn George Valentine—who was killed there on 28 October 1944. In Kleverskerke, we paid tribute to Rfn Ken Deighton who was killed while clearing a Teller mine while my dad stood nearby shaving. We also visited the British military cemetery in Bergen-op-Zoom where we laid flowers at the grave sites of Ken Deighton, George Valentine and 14 other members of the 7th Cameronians.
Mr. Brennan, in your blog entry, photos of your father were posted and mentioned publishing his wartime diary. While I cannot help you with identifying any of the other soldiers in the photos, I am very interested in your father’s diary. It would be a tremendous help for me to be able to read a first-person account from a soldier who was in the same battalion as my father. Is there any way I could receive a copy of this from you (either hardcopy or digital)? Of course, I will be happy to pay any associated costs.
NB: Reply please to Major Brian A S Leishman at firstname.lastname@example.org