HMS Cossack arrives in Leith, greeted by onlookers

War Diary 1940 – 1944

When it seemed, in the summer of 1940, that Britain might be invaded by German forces, a cousin in Hamilton, Ontario, pressed the family to be his guests for the duration of the war.  After initial reluctance, Ian’s mother accepted the invitation and in August 1940 took Ian and his brother William to Hamilton, returning to Edinburgh in August 1944. Francis Balfour stayed in Edinburgh and the diary which he wrote during these years is available to download below. Please allow a couple of minutes for download as these are large documents.

Part 1: 1939-1940

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Gas masks demonstrated for babies in Edinburgh circa 1940

Part 2: 1941-1942

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Part 3: 1943-1944

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