Castle Commando

#2
Thought I'd bump this, narrated by Rory Bremner, the film looks back on the characters that helped shape Winston Churchill's legendry raiding troops trained at Achnacarry in 1942-45.
 
#3
I have the book Castle Commando by Donald Gilchrist and a film on DVD which contains some elements of the training there ... including some footage of Colonel Charles Vaughan who was the Commandant . The march to Achnacarry from Spean Bridge was the first of many increasingly difficult tests with the threat of RTU always in the background . Should be a good watch .

Thanks for reminder .
 
#5
Thanks for that but I already have a copy Commando Country .... reccommended by another ARRSER shortly after I became a member ... I agree a good companion .
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I have the book Castle Commando by Donald Gilchrist and a film on DVD which contains some elements of the training there ... including some footage of Colonel Charles Vaughan who was the Commandant . The march to Achnacarry from Spean Bridge was the first of many increasingly difficult tests with the threat of RTU always in the background . Should be a good watch .

Thanks for reminder .
Cracking book - has pride of place on the shelf. Thanks for the bump.
 
#8
Wee story might be of interest. In December 68 a few days before Christmas, we were called out for a Kinloss Shack that had gone in on the hills north of the Fort William Mallaig Road near Inverailort. The aircraft had been dropping Christmas parcels to a couple of light ships whilst returning from a normal patrol and had some extra bods on board having a bit of a jolly, it flew into a very violent storm and iced up; it was five degrees off the vertical when it crashed and all seventeen on board were killed.
Instead of our usual call out stuff of staying in tents or in an old barn or whatever was handy, we were put up by Mrs Cameron-Head in Inverailort Castle for the duration of the call out; it was quite protracted recovering the remains of the crew and conducting searches on the kites last know track north oh Lock Morar to find any bits that might have fallen off.
Mrs Cameron- Head was a very kind and gracious lady, and we were allowed to even get a hot bath when we came off the hill. The bathroom were were given was out towards the back of the house and as you walked down the long corridors to get there you passed grey painted doors with painted signs on them such as Admin Office Knock and wait, Wrens Quarters, and one with "No Entry even if you think your authorised". We were told that Inverailort Castle had been another place like Achnacarry during the war and was used to billet and train some very tough people.
I understand that Inverailort Catle is a ruin now, but I get a bit of pleasure, and feel a little privalaged knowing that I saw just a little of this countries secret wartime history there very close up, and not on public display.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
#12
Watched it last night. I keep meaning to go across and visit the memorial so I think I will pack my tent and head across after work on Friday for the weekend.

I believe that Achnacarry was just one of several training areas up this way, most remaining forgotton to this day. Certainly a local castle was used for some form of training. The owners believe it was an SOE operative base. Very close to a prisoner of way camp where, allegidly, double agents were used to get info from the occupants.

Who will ever know?
 
#13
I understand that Inverailort Catle is a ruin now, but I get a bit of pleasure, and feel a little privalaged knowing that I saw just a little of this countries secret wartime history there very close up, and not on public display.
Here you go World War Two

Would appear that Lovat himself was based there.
 
#14
Fascinating and well made programme using photographs and quotes from the two books earlier mentioned . Lots of use of the film I have on DVD . The “ Old and Bold “ who appeared relating their experiences radiated quiet confidence , professionalism and pride … no bravado shown . It was pleasing to see that modern digital techniques were not allowed to take over the presentation .

I have been to Achnacarry and down the “ Dark Mile “ which is part of one of the speed march routes … it must have rung to the sound of crashing “ boots ammunition “ .
 
#15
Any idea where I can watch this on the internet now gents? I have tried the above links, but they are just to a page with a few clips. BBCi player doesn't seem to have it.
 
#16
Saw this prog last night on bbc2. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the book "Castle Commando" Amazon have it for a staggering £56 and another place wants over £15
 
#18
Watched the program with interest.

Not sure the live fire, opposed beach landing would be allowed these days though.
 
#19
Saw this prog last night on bbc2. Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the book "Castle Commando" Amazon have it for a staggering £56 and another place wants over £15
Sorry cannot help you to find a cheaper copy ... out of interest I also checked on Amazon ... nice to see my hardback copy priced at 12/6 is now worth >£70 .
 
#20
Just before leaving God's Country (Northumberland) to return to the big city I noticed a copy of Donald Gilchrist's Castle Commando going for an exorbitant price £18 for a paperback reprint published at £10.95 by the West Highlands Museum Trust - tempted though I was I kept the moths firmly inside my wallet - a good thing because an hour later in the Lions Bookshop I found a first edition at £1.50 complete with a decent dudt jacket The book was written in 1960 by Gilchrist who was adjutant to Colonel Vaughan the CO who was known as the Laird of Achnachary and gives an insiders view of the rigours of Commando training that is both accurate and very interesting - the West Highland Reprint has more illustrations but the original has a nicer layout! Gilchrist saw action with 4 Commando at Dieppe and then with them on D-Day and in Normandy.
A lot of books shops both second hand and new are selling online. There should be a few copies kicking about.
 

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