Roman Calendar

Random Greco-Roman Image

Friday, April 10, 2009


That was great. I loved the quote "THESE ARE MY CREDENTIALS" which is what an American officer said to a Nazi officer who arrogantly demanded to see his credentials before surrendering. The American general pointed at his soldiers, tattered ,dirty, with their heads bloodied but unbowed and arms at the ready and said:THESE ARE MY CREDENTIALS. The German officer surrendered without another word.

I will share a few more I learned from Auld Pop and his Argyll and HLI comrades:

1)“Tis good to have comrades the day of battle” (LA a bhlair, ‘s math na cairdean);

this is inscribed on the monument to the Argylls in the Ypres Salient just a stone’s throw from Black Watch Corner where at one point four Black Watch soldiers with 40 rifles –covering the retreat for the Regiment held the line against 900 German attackers. The fire was so rapid and accurate that the German commander was convinced the Allies had a new secret weapon –a highly powerful light machine gun of some sort. The four soldiers retreated under the cover of darkness each taking two rifles, destroying the rest. They had literally fought to their last cartridges without flinching. That is duty. That is courage. That was Black Watch, Argyll and HLI.

2)“A sojer will die for the Colours but no for an extra twa bob a day!” (Thomas Munro, Sr. ASH, MM)

3)Coughing in the morning we all told Auld Pop he should stop smoking he said:

“There’s many a mon in the cemetery who would like to have a cough like that”

(Tha mora dhaoine anns a’ cladh a mhiannaicheadh casad a bhith aca mar seo! )

4) Na earbsa ‘a’ claidheamh briste (Dinna trust a broken sword –claymore)

5) Mire Catha (MEER KA…the ancient blood lust; the battle frenzy…when its kill or be killed)

6) In Waverly Mrs Flockhart asks “and will ye face the tearing chields (youth) , the dragoons Ensign Maccombich?

“Claw for claw, as Conan said to Satan. Mrs. Flockart, and the devil tak the shortest nails.”

7)There is an old saying :

(perhaps you remember ROB ROY the final scene: Cha Dh’fhag claidheamh Fhinn riamh fuigheall beauma!


8)There is a peace to be found only after war (An deidh cogaidh thig sith).

9)Tha tinneas feachd (There is a sickness the day of battle i.e. cowardice)

10) Chan eil treun ris nach cuirear…..There is not a brave mon who will not be put to the test.

11) AONAIBH RI CHÉILE…..Unite together!!! (slogan of the Camerons)

12)Touch not the cat but with a glove! (slogan of the ancient Clan Chattan)

13)BUAIDH NO BAS Conquer or DIE (victory or death!! Slogan of the MacNeils and others)

14) It’s a sair field where aa a’ slain has it Gaelic equivalent as well IS CRUAIDH AN CATH as NACH tig aon fhear!

(It’s a hard fought field where not a single man escapes with life)

15) Na SIR ‘S NA SEACHAIN AN CATH…Never seek a fight but do not shun it either.

16) Na tarraing mi gun adhbhar, ‘s na pill mi gun chliu! DRAW ME NOT WITHOUT CAUSE, NOR RETURN ME WITHOUT HONOR (almost Spartan; a good inscription for a gun or sword)

16) I love peace, I am a peaceful quiet man but I am not a pacifist. I remember Dunkirk and other places.

“Am fear nach gleidh n-airm san t-sith, cha bhi iad aige ‘n am a chogaidh”

“The mon who does not keep arms in peace will not know where to find them in a time of war.”

17) “Guadacanal is not just an word; it is an emotion.” US Marine

18) Caisteal Foghlais na theine (Foulis Castle is Ablaze; Foulis is seat of the Clan Munro for over 1000 years; it means the beacon light is ablaze –“drop what you are doing, gird your sword and gather to the chief’s command”; it recalls a famous moment in history when the life of Mary Queen of Scots was in danger due to treachery. Robert Mor (The Great)Munro called on the entire strength of his clan 700 men aged 16 to 60 and sent for help from Clan Fraser where he had kinsmen. Within hours Mary had over 1000 men to defend her honor and her safety. Many of the Munro men at that time were Protestant but they did not hesitate to follow their chief who had been a close friend of Mary of Guise. In 1914 and in 1939 the Munro chief sent a telegram to cities all over the Commonwealth including Glasgow that said simply CAISTEAL FOGHLAS NA THEINE (Foulis Castle Ablaze). Many answered the call AN GAIRM the first day. My grandfather enlisted August 4, 1914, along side of him were all his kith and kin his Scottish pals including some Americans just visiting at the time such as “American”Johnny Robertson. My father enlisted December 8, 1941. My godmother’s fiancée, the son of an Argyll, enlisted Dec 8, 1941; he was killed in Guadalcanal Jan 1943 at Henderson Field. Our kinsman Douglas Munro was killed Sept. 27 1942 at Guadalcanal. My uncles enlisted in 1942 (my father’s brother Jos was at Glasgow University and he had promised his mother he would finish his studies; he enlisted in the US 8th Army Air Corps where he served as a B-17 mechanic; he was a naturalized American citizen) My Uncle Norman saw action in Normandy, the Ardennes and helped liberate DACHAU concentration camp in April 1945 (10th Armored Division).

19) Hector Munro’s son was killed in the first world war and his grandson Captain Patrick Munro was captured in June 1940 at Dunkirk where his men fought ten days after the evacuation with the 51st Highland Division. Except for two men every single man was killed, wounded or captured. Capt. Munro was a POW for five years. Many worked as slave laborers for five years. The story of the two men who disobeyed orders and refused to surrender is part of Argyll legend. They dressed in civilian clothes and made their way up the French coast. They were arrested by the Gestapo but did not respond to any questions in English and spoke only Gaelic. A German linguist was called in and said ,yes in fact, they might be Irish fishermen (Ireland was neutral at the time). The Irish consul was called –he must have recognized they were allied soldiers- and asked the Germans to look at their scarred hands, were they not the hands of fishermen? The Irishmen said without a doubt these are brother Gaels –lost at sea- and he demanded their immediate repatriation . The Germans agreed. The two men were sent to Switzerland, flew to Lisbon and on to Dublin. Took the train to Belfast and the boat to Scotland, visited their mothers and sweethearts, rejoined the Army and were among the first British soldiers to cross the Rhine in 1945.

True story: source the museum of the ARGYLL AND SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.





with thanks to BR, ex USMC


No comments: