1940s ('early') A coastal defence battery is positioned in West Links beside Kerr's Miniature Railway.

1940  The 'Palace Cinema', James Street, is rebuilt & opened by ABC as the 'New Palace Theatre' on May 6.

1940  (Feb 9)  The hopper barge 'Foremost' is attacked by bombs & machine-gun fire from two German aircraft. Lifeboat 'John & Wm Mudie's Coxwain, Wm. Swankie, is awarded a bronze medal & the Brit. Emp. Medal for rescuing seven from the attack, in which two seamen have died. The survivors are safely landed at Arbroath.

1940 (Jul)  Charles Tassie recalls a walk with his wife Betty on this month near the Seaforth Hotel when the road & the Common are strafed by machine gun fire from a German aircraft which results in the deaths of some Polish soldiers playing football on the Common. Another individual approaching on a bicycle has to take swift evasive action by a speedy entrance into 'Tutties Neuk' pub.

1940  HMS Condor is commissioned.

1940  (Oct 31)  The Bell Rock Lighthouse is machine gunned by a German aircraft.

1940  A Crimean cannon, a feature on Boulzie Hill, is melted down for munitions manufacture.


194?  Lunan Bay is used by the RAF for bombing practise.

194?  One of the very few German bombing raids on Arbroath causes little damage to the tar works at Elliot.

1941 (Mar 5)  William Briggs officially thanks employee David Aitken Leadingham for the extreme bravery

displayed in rescuing two fellow employees during 'a deplorable accident' some weeks ago. (Click here:     )

1941  Arbroath's Gordon Neill is struck by shrapnel  whilst encountering German aircraft, regaining control from

the cockpit floor of his Spitfire to land on only one mainwheel. He had first flown a Spitfire in November 1940 & has joined 603 Squadron this year.  Mr Neill will return to Arbroath on demob in 1945 after 6 years as a fighter & bomber pilot to resume his legal career. He will retire in 1985 when Neill & MacIntosh come under Thorntons umbrella. In 2008 and aged 89, Mr Neill will renew his aquaintance with a Spitfire at Leuchers Air Show.

1941  (Mar 30)  The Bell Rock suffers a 2nd aerial machine gun attack.

1941  (Apr 1)  A German bomb explodes 10 yards from the base of the lighthouse.

1941  (Apr 5)  A 3rd machine-gun attack occurs on the lighthouse.


WW2:  During the war years flax is once again grown in Angus to meet the

demand for canvas. It is required for tents, stretchers, uniforms, gun covers

& fire hoses etc. Polish Troops are billeted in Windmill House.


1942  (May 30) Spitfire 'Red Lichtie', (Mk Vb EP121), sponsored by local people raising £5,000 (= about £180,000 in 2010), enters service with No.50 Squadron RAF (County of Gloucester). It serves in Sept '42 with No.39 Sq. (MU Colerne), Oct '42 with No.38 Sq. (MU Llandow), Dec '42 with No.131 Sq. (County of Kent), Jan '43 with No.610 Sq. (County of Chester) in this period probably destroying a Focke-Wulf 190 German fighter near Boulogne, Mar '43 with No.602 Sq. (City of Glasgow), Apr. '43 with No.412 (RCAF) Sq. at Perranporth, June '43 with No.416 (RCAF) Sq. at Digby and that month stalling on landing approach and spinning into the ground.

1942  Merilyn Smith is born in Arbroath & educated at the High School & trained at Edinburgh School of Art. She will spend 2 years teaching in N. Nigeria then found & manage the Ceramic Workshop in Edinburgh 1970-74. After 2 years in Italy, she will be Head of Ceramics at Liverpool School of Art. She will exhibit throughout Europe & in 1989 be awarded the 30th Anniv. Prize at the Concorso Internazionale della Ceramica d'Arte in Gualdo Tadino, Italy. Her bronze 'Cutty Stool' commemorates the riot in St Giles Cathedral when Jenny Geddes' stool was aimed at the minister's head on the introduction of an an angicised prayer book by Charles 1 to Scotland in 1637.

1942  Mr Tommy Knox recalls his family moving from Dundee to 14 East Mill Wynd this year. Names of his East Mill / Cross Mill Wynd neighbours include: Sid Lyndsay, Nicol, White, Easson, 'Oily' Burns, Wallace, Proctor, Cruickshank, McPhail, Law, Allan, Fairweather, Sheriff, Glen, Kelly, 'Sally' Forbes, Andrew Knox, McPhee, Jocky 'The Dodger' Donaldson, Munro, Hood and Bannatyne. " Quite a few families from the Wyndies later moved to Strathmore Ave. & Airlie Crescent ".


1943 (Feb 27)  Two airman from HMS Condor die during a training exercise when their Fairey

Swordfish aircraft crashes into a field near Gask Farm, Letham.

1943  The crew of the Arbroath Lifeboat 'John & William Mudie' rescue 3 airmen from a dinghy in the North Sea.

1943  Coplands Garage is founded at the corner of Lochlands Drive & Cairnie Street by Bert Copland.  

1943  Servicewomen of the armed forces have their club room & canteen at 105 High Street.

1943  A 15 year old girl earns 15 shillings (75p) per week in Webster's Millgate factory. (See 1986)

1943  David Meek, 19, brought up in Arbroath's Wyndies, takes part in the Arctic Convoy runs.


1944  Marion Corsar of Rosely House dies.

1944  Davida Crammond is born in Arbroath. She will become a writer.


1945  (Sept) The 12th Polish Field Ambulance erect a stone on the High Common in gratitude to the people of Arbroath.

1945  (Oct)  Arbroath harbour welcomes the first shipment of coal to the town for six years. The 230 tons aboard the Dutch vessel 'Cateli',  are bound for Arbroath Gas Works.















1946  Matthew Kerr almost doubles the length of the miniature railway.

1946 (Apr)  Reverend P.F. Black is appointed minister of St Ninian's Church.

1946  'Cafe Kit Kat' is open at 84 High Street.

1946  'The Elms' mansion house is purchased for £3,000 & becomes home to children of missionaries

serving the evangelical movement abroad.

1946  Aberdeen born poet Marion Angus (1866), whose 'Selected Poems' will be published in 1950,

dies in Arbroath, the town where she was raised. (listen to the song on page 2010).

1946  W. Osler Nicoll, Abbey Church's Minister, resigns to take up that post at Riccarton Parish Church.

1946  New houses at Grant Road, Airlie Crescent & Strathmore Avenue are being constructed.

1946  Pre-fabricated homes (the Prefabs) are being erected in Elmfield Avenue, Elm Hill, Hercules

Road, Elm Grove, Elm Path, & Elmbank Crescent. They will exist for about 20 years.

1946 (-1975)  Adam Cargill is a Town Councillor.

1946 (Dec 9) Arbroath born Logie Danson, Primus of the Episc. Church in Scotland since 1943, dies.


'after WW2', Hepworth tailors are trading at 142-144 High Street.


1947  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society this year present 'The Belle Of New York'.

1947  (Mar 27)  Arbroath Dramatic Society's first production, 'Outward Bound', at Webster Memorial Hall.

1947(-60) Singer Sewing Machines have premises on Kirk Square.

1947  Ian M. Fraser aquires a 1915 built Marshall steam tractor which he names 'Jingling Geordie'. The

big traction engine will become a familiar sight in Arbroath.

1947 (May 2) Lynda Myles is born in Arbroath.  She will direct the Edinburgh Film Festival '73-'80,

be Curator of Pacific Film Archive, California '80-'82, work for Channel 4 & Enigma Films, co-produce

'Flight To Berlin' ('84), produce 'Defence Of The Realm' ('85), 'The Commitments' ('91), 'The Snapper'

('93), 'The Van' ('96), 'When Brendan Met Trudy' (2000), & co-produces ''Killing Me Softly' (2002).

She becomes the recipient of a BFI special award for services to the film industry.  

1947  (Jun 25)  Windmill House is opened as a hotel by Will Fyfe.

1947  D. Adam & Co. Ltd, electrical contractors, open for business at James Street. ( See 2013 ).

1947  Morris Pert is born in Arbroath. He will become an internationally respected composer &

percussionist, graduating B.Mus. from Edinburgh University in 1969 & studying composition &

percussion at the Royal Academy, London. He works 2 years with Japanese percussionist Stumo

Yamash'ta then forms the experimental music group 'Suntreader'. In the 1970s he is commissioned

by the BBC for large-scale orchestral works & becomes a prominent percussionist in rock music. He

writes 3 symphonies: 'The Rising Of The Moon', 'The Beltane Rites' & 'The Ancient Kindred'. Morris

works for 18 years as session musician, recording with Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd-Weber, John

Williams, Kate Bush, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins & Brand X. In 1977 Billboard

magazine votes him No.4 jazz & Rock percussionist in the world. His works include an electronic

Balletscore 'Continuum' for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre at Sadlers Wells. His music is

much inspired by the symbolism & mystery of Scotland's ancient inhabitants. He settles in NW Scotland, and dies in 2010.

1947  The first Arbroath Abbey Pageant.

1947  East Coast Enterprises opens on Millgate Loan.


1948  (Feb)  Geo. S. Robertson, Principal Classics Teacher at AHS, is appointed President of the Institute of Scotland.

1948  (Feb)  Arbroath Musical Society's production this year is 'The Arcadians'.

1948  'Arbroath Football Club - The Story Of The Maroons Past & Present' is published.

1948  The first dwellings in the Hayshead Housing Scheme are occupied.

1948  (Jul 27)  David Laing, doctor in Arbroath for 59 years (retired 1946), dies aged 86.

1948  Alan Irons, who opened his Hamilton Green shop in 1922, dies. Bob * * * & Charlie Irons as partners, continue the business. They trade under the name 'St Ruth's ', taken from Sir Walter Scott's use of the name for Arbroath Abbey in 'The Antiquary'.

1948  (Nov 11)  Armistice Day - At the Arbroath War Memorial, the names of the fallen are unveiled,

on the 30th anniversary of the ending of the 'Great' war.













1949  The Burns Federation suggest making a copy of the Arbroath Declaration available to

every secondary school & training college.

1949 George S. Shepherd joins the Arbroath Herald. He becomes editor & later buys the business.

1949  Forbidden Cave is excavated by D.A. Gardner and F.W. Thornton, revealing a large quantity of bones, some showing signs of being worked.

1949  The Arbroath Burgh Police are merged with the Angus County Constabulary.

1949  Edmund Laskowski buys the 'Red Lion' garage on Dundee Road.

1949 (-1954)  John F. Webster is Provost.

4513312538_294x223.jpg 4512200150_167x242.jpg

1940 - 1949

A post war family look to the future in Elmfield Avenue 1947. The smallest human is the editor.


       HMS Conder around 1949

- by permission of the Condor 49ers

4513497878_286x258.jpg 4514573360_160x231.jpg

Conder Mess Hut

A thank you from Poland


Lunan Bay

air gunnery chart

Global 1940-1949 4517378656_319x238.jpg

Ian M. Fraser & Jinglin' Geordie


   How the neglected

'Elms' will appear in 2007


An Arbroath foundry worker in 1946

Lynda Myles - international film producer


Merilyn Smith's

Cutty Stool


1943 Rail ticket for forces personnel on 'furlough' ie leave of absence

Morris at Montreaux 1981 AHS War Mem Plaque

(above) Arbroath High School remembers

former pupils who did not return from

the 1939-1945 war.

( image courtesy Patrick Anderson )

Morris Pert Montreaux 1981

The Wyndies - from a 1901 map

Click for a larger image

Wyndies 1901 Lynda Myles Arbr fishwives 1948-9

A 1948-49 photograph of Arbroath fishwives on a bus trip.


(back row) Jean Cargill, Betty Cargill, Jessie Beattie, Mary Duff, Mary Marshall, Ella Ross, Barbara Rose


(front row) Kitty Smith, Jean Swankie, Mary Smith, Nellie Yarrow, Isa Doyle, Jean Spink


(Source: The Arbroath Herald)

Spitfire EP121 'Red Lichtie'

The locally sponsored Spitfire 'Red Lichtie' enters service 1942

Arbroath aerial views 1941-47

Taken by a trainee RN Air Observer from HMS Condor