Thursday, November 13, 2014

Scotland 2014 Photos: Faint Footsteps

October 17 - Irvine, Scotland

 ["I am minutes from catching the correct bus on High Street, Irvine"]

["I exit bus in quiet countryside. Navy beaches - 1 mile straight ahead"]

On this day I travelled by bus a few miles south of Irvine to walk and view some of the empty fields where, during WW2, young men of various nationalities - e.g., many Canadians, including my father - lived and trained and gained experience (on nearby beaches) upon assault landing craft (and LCMs, landing craft mechanized) used during Allied raids and invasions.

 ["WW2 vintage buildings, far right. Likely Camp (RAF) Dundonald hangars"]

 ["WW2 Navy boys were at Camp Auchengate. I'm on the right trail"]

 ["Hangars also may have housed tanks," says current owner"]

["My dad would have been delighted to see chickens near WW2 camps"]

If the following raids and invasions are known to readers - Dieppe, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Normandy - then some may wish to explore the wee town of Irvine and the faded remains of nearby military camps (such as RAF Dundonald, Camp Auchengate (Navy), Camp Gailes). Faint footsteps of many soldiers, sailors and airmen can still be seen, though covered now by golf courses and other changes/additions to the landscape made over the last 70-plus years.

 ["At five PM I was back in Irvine and soon made ready for another walk-about"]

 ["I've one hour to walk beaches where men practiced handling landing craft"]

 ["I look south toward now quiet beaches and Troon"]

 [A mysterious dragon guards the western approaches"]

 ["I was inland, far right, earlier in the day"]

[Thousands of young men admired these same views 70 years ago"]

The remnants of any WW2 settings and memories are faint, and few and far between, but still worth looking for in Irvine, and Saltcoats to the north, and Troon to the south. I shall return!

Link to my YouTube video from the farthest point west in Irvine, Scotland. Dated October 17, 2014.

Link to Scotland 2014 Photos: Faint Footsteps

More about another mysterious dragon to follow.

Photos by GH

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