Down memory lane, April 5 2019

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A photo from the McGrory collection posted by Patricia Graham on Old Campbeltown and Surrounding Area has created some interest.

In a comment she wrote: ‘Not sure if it’s been posted on here before, but would be really interested to know what is going on.

‘It looks like lots of children who seem to be parading past the old post office, with people on the left looking on.

‘Does anyone know what it’s all about?

‘I zoomed in to the photo as much as I could, and still didn’t get any clues as to what event it was.

‘I did wonder if it could possibly have been another photo of the new Life-boat being taken through the town (1898), with the children running along ahead, but they are going the wrong way.

‘There is a black shape in the centre of the photo, just above the heads of the crowd which could be a lifeboat, or perhaps a hearse?

‘The people in the foreground definitely seem to be waiting for something to appear.

‘Here is a clearer photo of the 1898 lifeboat procession, just for comparison.’

William Crossan replied: ‘I don’t think they’re parading, but running alongside some sort of parade, though not a very big one, so maybe not a parade as such.

‘If you look closely there are men behind them who appear to be in uniform.’

Alex McKinven added: ‘If it’s the McGrory Collection, the same portrays the ‘Great Campbeltown Building Period’ between 1890 and 1911.

‘No idea what the photo is about.’

Last Thursday was the 77th anniversary of a dramatic World War II assault that resulted in Captain Stephen Halden Beattie, in command of the destroyer HMS Campbeltown at St Nazaire, receiving the Victoria Cross.

Under intense fire, on March 28 1942, he deliberately rammed into the dock gates of the Normandie dry dock.

The ship had been packed with timed explosives which took the dock out of action, forcing German warships to return to home waters for repairs.

Known as ‘Sam’ Beattie, he was educated at Abberley Hall School in Worcester and joined the Royal Navy in 1925 as a Special Entry Cadet.

He was 33 when he was awarded his VC for ‘great gallantry and determination in the attack on St. Nazaire in command of HMS Campbeltown’.

Campbeltown’s lifeboat being paraded through Main Street in 1898. NO_c14memorylane02_1898_Lifeboat

The unidentified parade. NO_c14memorylane01

Captain Stephen Halden Beattie VC. NO_c14downmemorylane01_Captain_Beattie