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Hugh Pollock: a note to Rob Close from his daughter

by Rosemary Pollock (reprinted here with her permission)

See also:

The original article by Rob Close

An update by Rob Close

As the youngest daughter of Hugh Pollock I was naturally interested to discover your notes on the subject of my late father. Also (like my mother) I am grateful to you for obtaining a photo of his grave - neither of us has been to Malta since the 70s, and we never did possess a photograph. I`m fascinated, too, by your references to my half-brother Alistair, whom sadly I never met.

Obviously you have done a good deal of research and have handled your material well, but it isn`t easy to describe any individual on the basis of a few printed references. I was stunned, many years ago, to discover the kind of things that were being said about my father (only, of course, after his death) and like my mother have tried ever since to do something about this false picture. Barbara Stoney's excellent and balanced biography of Enid Blyton did something to straighten things out, but early reviews of her book contained some distressing, extraordinary and totally fictitious material.

During the First World War my father narrowly escaped Court Martial for disobeying an order. As a result of this insubordination he was able to capture a German-held village, plus 50 prisoners, without losing a single man; and at the end of that war, of course, he was awarded the DSO . Towards the end of World War II, an American military establishment presented him with a gift on which was inscribed the words 'To one of the finest officers we know in any Army'. He was not weak in any reasonable sense of the word, but he could not (more importantly would not) fight for himself. Incidentally his war medals, together with 1 or 2 photos and a short career history, can now be seen at the Regimental Museum of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, which is located at 518 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

Throughout his life my father retained a deep affection for the town of Ayr, and of course for the memory of my wonderful grandparents, who were once so well known and well liked.

I remember the drums very well [a gift from Blyton] - they were still around when I was a small child. I was not allowed to touch them, but I never saw my father touch them either.

Rosemary Pollock

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