Forgotten valour

AS SOMEONE who lost 34 relations in the world wars (17 Royal Navy, six Merchant Navy, seven Highland regiments, one RAF and three with Empire regiments), I am greatly offended by Graham Day (Letters, 27 September) disgracefully tarnishing the valour of those who fought in the war in an infantile attempt to score petty political points.

Contrary to the “standing together” rhetoric of Unionists, there were many in this country who were less than patriotic during the war.

For example, the Tyneside shipyard workers who went on strike for six weeks over the refusal of six men to join a trade union, and men found unfit for military service hiring themselves out for a fee to impersonate others who wished to evade conscription.

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Even in the first eight weeks of the London Blitz, 390 cases of looting were reported.

Mr Day is obviously not aware that Donald Stewart, leader of the Scottish National Party, volunteered for the Royal Navy in 1939, and nearly lost his life on the Atlantic convoys, his father, a First World War veteran too old for conscription in 1939, volunteered for the Merchant Navy and died as a result. In contrast, the young Margaret Thatcher applied to Oxford University to study chemistry in 1943, at the time of her country’s greatest need.

It would be principled and courteous to acknowledge that men and women of diverse pol-itical persuasions and of none served and died in the world wars. I am angered by Graham Day’s demeaning remarks as I am sure many relatives of the fallen in the Second World War will be.

Donald J MacLeod

Woodcroft Avenue

Bridge of Don

Aberdeen