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
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.