Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Czechoslovak War Memorial at Arisaig.


A Czech-Scottish Charity has built a memorial in Arisaig to hundreds of Czechoslovak soldiers who were trained at the Special Operations Executive’s Schools during the Second World War, and in daring actions in occupied territory, behind enemy lines, and on battlefields, they rendered an oustanding service to not only the liberation of their country but also to the freedom of other nations.

Many paid for this with their own lives.

The Memorial will not only remind us of their bravery but will also serve as a sacred place and a war grave to those laid to their eternal rest in places known unto God.

We would welcome more information about this memorial.

Friday, 13 August 2010

KDHG Programme for 2010 - 2011

The programme for our winter session is almost complete and, as always, looks great.  Thanks to Graham Boyd for putting it all in place.
If you are not yet a member of KDHG, please come along to our first meeting in Kilmarnock College at 7.30 pm on October 5th.

Kilmarnock & District History Group Programme for 2010 / 11


5 October John Millar - Lithuanians in Scotland

19 October Max Flemmich - 100 Years of the Telephone

2 November Dugald Cameron - Scotland’s Aviation

16 November Linda Fairlie - A Royal Engagement

This meeting will be held in the Dick Institute

30 November Robin Wood - Frances Wright, Scotland’s Unknown Heroine.

14 December John McGill - History of Loudoun Castle.


11 January To be arranged

25 January Dr Tony Pollard - Rorke’s Drift

Dr Pollard has spoken to us before about his major archaeological projects.

8 February KDHG Members - History on the Web

22 February Mrs Sandra Liquorish Fairlie House- It’s Architects and Inhabitants

8 March To be arranged

22 March Alastair Dinsmore - AGM + The History of Glasgow Police

It’s hoped to have a talk on Glasgow Botanic Gardens on one of the vacant dates

Monday, 9 August 2010

Family History workshops for beginners

August & September, Burns Monument Centre.

Ever fancied finding out about your ancestors but didn’t know where to begin? Staff at the Burns Monument Centre, Kilmarnock are running introductory family history workshops throughout August and September.

Researching your family tree is a valuable and extremely rewarding experience and the Burns Monument Centre provides all the necessary resources at your fingertips. The team of experts will guide you through the process of researching your family tree, locating background information on how and where your ancestors lived and building a fuller picture of their lives.

Workshops will be held on Tuesdays throughout August from 10am-12pm, starting on 10th August. Saturday workshops will be held in September from 11am-1pm, starting on 4th September (excluding Sept weekend, Sat 18th). The 2 hour introductory sessions cost just �10 each and this covers access to ‘Scotland’s People’ genealogical records and all tuition.

To book a workshop please contact the Burns Monument Centre on 01563 576695.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

KDHG Website live !

The new Kilmarnock & District History Group website is now live and can be found at http://www.kilmarnockhistory.co.uk/.

News articles are driven through the blog page http://kilmarnockhistorygroup.blogspot.com/ so please join and contribute your own articles and comments. Article can also be forwarded via news@kilmarnockhistory.co.uk

We also have a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kilmarnock-District-History-Group/128298750541096.

We are keen to build our archive and galleries, so please interact with us as much as possible.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Swastikas Over Ibrox

There is a famous photo of the England football team giving the Nazi salute in Berlin in 1938. But less well known is the part Nazi politics played two years earlier, the last time a united Germany faced Scotland at Ibrox, on Wednesday, October 14, 1936.

The countries had only met once before, in 1929, when a makeshift all tartan Scotland team had drawn 1-1 in Berlin.

Yet despite the curiosity value, a crowd of 40,000 was much smaller than expected due to the political feeling about the game - even in 1936 there were strong misgivings about the Nazi regime, combined with bitter memories of the Great War.

The press even hinted that a demonstration was feared, but there were no signs of trouble on the day thanks to a heavy police presence. "Here were our enemies of a few years ago," one reporter wrote. "Were they fated to play the same role in the near future? Was this great gesture of sport a useless thing, already destined to be jeered at?"

Three days before the match the German party arrived at Renfrew Aerodrome and booked in at the Central Hotel before enjoying the time-honoured tradition of second house at the Pavilion. The next morning they went to Ibrox for a training session and were observed performing "a kind of goose-step, diverting the ball from one knee to the other". Sounds like keepy uppy!

As the game approached, the political overtones were rife. There was an atmosphere of having an unwanted guest to stay; no-one wanted to be rude and everyone ended up being overbearingly polite instead.

Mind you, Rangers and Scotland goalkeeper Jerry Dawson tried to make light of the situation: he dabbed a small black moustache on his upper lip and pulled his hair over his right eyebrow. "Dat's good fonny," a visitor remarked, trying hard not to show offence.

There was widespread suspicion that the German 'amateurs' were playing for more than just national pride after the humiliation of losing to Norway in their own Olympic Games. According to the Evening Dispatch: "The visitors will be keen to uphold the honour of their Fatherland, and as was the case with successful athletes at the Olympic Games there is no saying what reward will be meted out to the scorer of the winning goal should there be such luck for a German in the contest."

Rangers manager William Struth, familiar with most of the German players, said they did not have the finesse of Scottish footballers but were very fast, and their sudden bursts could rip open an opposing defence.

As it turned out, they could not have been more sporting opponents, and every time a German fouled an opponent he instantly extended his hand to receive the shake of forgiveness.

When the match came around, the start was delayed for 18 minutes, with the German party held up in heavy traffic. When the team eventually came out, they were wearing white shirts with red collars and cuffs, and black shorts - the Nazi colours; their shirt badge was a Nazi eagle.

The players lined up and gave a Nazi salute to the main stand to "loud applause", turned and saluted the opposite side, and again repeated the salute during both national anthems. The Scottish team refrained.

The visitors' actions, however, were echoed in the stand by about 500 Germans who had arranged a cruise to fit in this match with the weekend's encounter in Dublin against the Irish Free State. During both national anthems they stood to attention and gave the Nazi salute, as did the German press contingent, much to the bemusement of the Scottish reporters.

To make their politics entirely clear, the Germans had brought with them two large Nazi flags - red with a black swastika on a white circle - and these flew over the Ibrox stand together with a Union Jack.

At last the match could start. Playing attractive one touch football, the German forwards threatened the Scots goal regularly but nearly always failed to get a shot in, and when they did Dawson came to the rescue. Gellesch did have the ball in the net after just three minutes, but was marginally offside.

Scotland made few chances as they stuttered along, and reached half-time with the scoreline blank.

Stamina and experience paid off in the end, however, and Scotland's second half performance was enough to secure a 2-0 win with strikes from Celtic's Jimmy Delaney (67 and 83 mins), his first international goals.

Overall, it was a poor performance by Scotland who, although never in much danger of losing, failed to settle to a steady game. All the flair came from the visitors.

The Germans left the pitch with another Nazi salute to the crowd, and went on to Dublin where they lost 5-2. They can little have thought that it would be almost 60 years before a united German team again met Scotland in Glasgow. They would hardly recognise Ibrox, either, although the Union Jacks are still there.

Scotland: Dawson (Rangers), Anderson (Hearts), Cummings (Aston Villa), Massie (Aston Villa), Simpson (Rangers, captain), Brown (Rangers), Delaney (Celtic), Walker (Hearts), Armstrong (Aberdeen), McPhail (Rangers) and Duncan (Derby County).

Germany: Jakob (Jahn Regensburg), Munzenberg (Alemannia Aachen), Munkert (1FC Nurnberg), Janes (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Goldbrunner (Bayern Munich), Kitzinger (Schweinfurt 05), Elbern (SV 06 Beuel), Gellesch (Schalke 04), Siffling (SV Waldhof Mannheim), Szepan (Schalke 04) and Urban (Schalke 04).

Referee: Harry Nattrass (England).