Loch Fyne’s crucial role in World War II explained by ex sea cadet

250,000 troops were based around Inveraray during WWII

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Furnace man, Jim Jepson, attracted a good turnout of Inveraray History Society members and visitors last month with his talk on the Combined Ops which took place around Inveraray and Loch Fyne during World War II.

Having been a Sea Cadet himself, a Cadet Nurse, and a member of the Army Cadets for a total of 20 years, he has always had a particular interest in the Forces.

When he and his wife, Pat, moved up to Argyll, he began collecting information and pictorial evidence of all the activity around Loch Fyne during the War.

In July 1940, Inveraray was chosen for its quiet ‘low key’ surroundings as an ideal location for training troops.

Camps were built and naval bases were set up for the arrival of the Commandos, followed soon after by the Army, Navy and Air Force.  It is estimated that, during those four years,  250,000 troops, 11,000 aircraft and 4,000 ships were based in the area.

A wide range of historical photos showed the various bases set up around Loch Fyne, with the main camp located where Inveraray Caravan Site is now situated.

Photos show Loch Fyne Hotel being used as Naval headquarters as well as for VIP visitors, in particular King George VI and Lord Mountbatten.

Prime Minister Churchill was the first VIP to make a morale-boosting visit and impressed the troops by insisting on walking the two miles back to Inveraray from the campsite, speaking to as many of the troops as possible along the way.

PIC

no_a18InverarayHistory01. 250,000 troops were based around Inveraray during WWII