David McLean survived H.M.S. Voltaire, spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp - Stalag VIIIb

See July 25, 2009 correspondence from Mr. Kennlyside

Dear Mac,

I was very interested to read the letters regarding the experiences of the crew of the Voltaire and that a book exists about the survivors  "Sailors in Cages". My uncle - David McLean  joined the naval reserve in Dundee at the start of the war. He lived at that time in Glenesk Avenue, Dundee and
after being called up joined H.M.S. Voltaire. When German radio reported the sinking of the ship most of the family thought he had been killed, however, after a period in the sea was picked up by the German vessel. He was taken back to Germany and  spent the rest of the war in a prisoner of war camp
- Stalag VIIIb. Where he was made to work in fields and mines. I understand that he played in the band. Our family has a photograph, with him playing with others, but I have yet to find this photograph which has been mislaid.

He talked about the mis-treatment of Russian prisoners and that the Camp Commander was a rather nasty individual. He rarely talked about his experiences, but he was mis-treated and beaten after attemping to escape. After the war he emmigrated to Canada and lived with his wife and two daughters in London, Ontario until his death two years ago.

I would be interested to find out more about this chapter in our family's history and in particular about my late uncle. I will look for war time photographs and if I find them will send you a scanned copy.

Kind regards,
Denis Keenlyside.

David McLean survived the sinking of the HMS Voltaire 
David McLean


Thank you for your letter about your Uncle, David McLean, there is no mention of him in the book Sailors in Cages. We have had a wonderful response to AHOY about ex HMS Voltaire sailors, and you had added another dimension to her story.



back to letters index


This site was created as a resource for educational use and the promotion of historical awareness. All rights of publicity of the individuals named herein are expressly reserved, and, should be respected consistent with the reverence in which this memorial site was established.

Copyright© 1984/2014 Mackenzie J. Gregory All rights reserved