Down Memory Lane, March 12 2021

After tracing the family of Campbeltown sailor Dugald McArthur, top left, the search is on for the rest of the Scottish servicemen who are recorded in the Book of Memories. All photographs courtesy of Finder Guru People Tracers.
After tracing the family of Campbeltown sailor Dugald McArthur, top left, the search is on for the rest of the Scottish servicemen who are recorded in the Book of Memories. All photographs courtesy of Finder Guru People Tracers.

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Search for WWII servicemen’s families continues

Buoyed by their success in locating the family of a WWII sailor from Campbeltown, two genealogy and history experts are determined to continue their search for the relatives of more than 150 servicemen who also stayed at the home of a US Navy family during the war.

Nicola Girling and Gloria Winfield are the driving force behind the Casey Project – an entirely voluntary bid to locate the families of the British and Commonwealth servicemen who were welcomed to the New York home of Fraser and Eleanor Casey and their children during the war.

In what has become known as the Book of Memories, Eleanor recorded details of all the servicemen who enjoyed some rest and relaxation at the family’s home while on shore leave, including their names, addresses, the boats on which they served, anecdotes about their characters and photographs of the servicemen she took herself.

Among the men was Dugald McArthur, from Campbeltown, whose son Les was traced and given a photograph of his father in uniform, that he had never seen before, after an appeal in the Courier in February.

While Nicola and Gloria have successfully located several of the men’s families, many have still to be found, including nine from Scotland.

They are: John Mitchell, Ross-shire; James Carlin III, Wishaw; Gilbert Christie, Paisley; Reginald Cooper, Dundee; Alexander Craig, Glasgow; John Currie, Glasgow; John Hopper, East Lothian; James McNair, Paisley; and Victor MacSorley, Stirling.

For more information on the men and the project, visit https://www.finderguru.co.uk/the-casey-project-ww2-photos/

Any information or enquiries can be emailed to Nicola at nicola@finderguru.co.uk or Gloria at historiangmw@hotmail.com

All photographs courtesy of Finder Guru People Tracers.