FIVE Helensburgh men were able to return home after being forced to work as World War Two prisoners of war on the notorious ‘Railway of Death’ built in Burma and Thailand.

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Neilly McGinley, Ned Killen, Jim Jardine, Peter McKell, and Neil’s cousin Neil ’Scrapper’ Sharkey all survived a dreadful chapter in their young lives, imprisonment and torture at the hands of cruel Japanese guards.

AN internationally respected scientist who was one of the last surviving people who served at wartime RAF Helensburgh, Professor John Allen, died on October 25 2019 at the age of 98.

News of his death at Halesworth, Suffolk, came from Mrs Frances McLaren, nee Shedden, who served alongside John at the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Rhu and Helensburgh during World War Two.

A LEADING Helensburgh businessman of the 1980s and 90s was lucky to survive on board a ship which was torpedoed during World War Two.

Footballer and athlete Jack Quinlan went on to run several local businesses in the district and was very well known for his charitable work.

EVERY picture tells a story. A faded family photograph taken at 128 West Princes Street, Helensburgh, during World War Two was a happy moment during an unfolding story of action, death and drama.

Retired Merseyside newspaper editor Robin Bird, who sourced this material during his ongoing search for the history of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, said that it is also a story of a secret army force within a secret air force at Helensburgh.

THE B-20 was a revolutionary World War Two flying boat about to be put through its paces by RAF Helensburgh before it was granted the airworthy certificate to allow full production.

But tragically the Dumbarton-developed aircraft never arrived at the Gareloch base.

A CARDROSS man won medals for gallantry in World War One and went on to become a highly respected figure in Scottish education.

Major Robert Kinloch, MC, Croix de Guerre, MA, FEIS, lived in the village for many years, and was for a decade head teacher of the village primary school.

PHOTOGRAPHER Bob Bird hated doing Home Guard duties at RAF Helensburgh during World War Two. He was not alone.

As a secret establishment RAF Helensburgh provided its own security with RAF personnel supported by all trades.

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