Portsmouth Dockyard workers whisked away to Highlands safety

The Brownie pack at Dunstaffnage, now Dunbeg, Scotland, in 1944 PPP-141118-131132001
The Brownie pack at Dunstaffnage, now Dunbeg, Scotland, in 1944 PPP-141118-131132001
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Have a close look at the picture of the Brownies for you might just recognise yourself or a relative.

The picture was taken in 1944, a mere 536 miles from Portsmouth, at a place called Dunstaffnage (now renamed Dunbeg), three miles north of Oban, Scotland.

The local relevance?

The photo comes from Brian Woodward who, as a five-year-old in 1942 and with a shipwright father in Portsmouth Dockyard, was moved to this tiny community for the duration of the Second World War.

Brian says: ‘Dunstaffnage existed between 1942 and 1945 as a satellite dockyard complete with floating dock to service damaged ships, away from the bombing.

‘The dockyard workforce came from Portsmouth, Chatham, Devonport and Rosyth, about 240 families, so a percentage of these girls would have come from Portsmouth.’

At the end of the war the Woodwards, along with all the other families, returned to their home towns.

The dockyard had AFD 19 which was a floating dock installed to repair damaged North Atlantic and Arctic convoy ships.

Brian recalls the village comprised about 240 prefabs to house the families which were built by Royal Marines from a nearby camp.

The village was demolished between 1959 and 1964, says Brian, and rebuilt as a council estate.

If you were one of these Brownies please get in touch.