Dunning Parish Historical Society in Perthshire Scotland has local Dunning history data including dunning village census and grave yard geneaology records Dunning history society logo text

Dunning's History Now - May 2004

Dunning's French Connection.

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Cameron with some friends in about 1928.

In April 1995 our newsletter published some recollections of David McLuckie, who was born in 1910 and spent the summers of his youth in Dunning. He briefly mentioned the Walker family:-

Jock had the Smiddy along the road on the burnside. Jock produced all the bairns. I can remember George, Jimmy, Alistair and Cameron. Their grandfather James was a tailor, and made all the clothes for his older grandchildren, including good worsted linen shirts. Their breeks were double-seated like riding gear so they would wear well. You could always tell a Walker from behind.

Perhaps it was this letter which prompted Charlie Laing to research a story which had interested him for some time, and write an article in the January 2002 newsletter. This tells Cameron's story, including how he was hidden in France for four years during Word War II, and died shortly after returning home. (You can read the full story here.)

Apparently by coincidence, in August 2002 we received an email from someone in Canada who was unaware of our Society and had come across our web site by chance:-

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The farm at St Foy.

Hi, My name is John Walker and I am interested in finding out more about my fathers family. He grew up in Dunning and I assume he was born there. Date of birth was December 31 1907. He had a number of brothers and sisters of which I only know the names of Ian and Cameron. I believe he was a good golfer and soccer player while growing up there. If you can help me in finding out anymore background history and his parents names etc I would greatly appreciate it.

We were of course able to tell John his uncle's story, and also to put him in contact with Charlie and with Cameron's only surviving sibling, and a flurry of correspondence resulted. Charlie had always wanted to know more about the French family who risked their lives by hiding Cameron, and believed their story should be told. He was now able to discover more about them. The family name was Hubert, and they had lived in the village of St. Foy for four hundred years. Unfortunately Charlie was becoming unwell, and asked Ted Dorsett to take on his work.

Hubert family photo 11.6kb jpg

Jean, Michel, Madeleine,
Pierre and Ghislaine.

The Hubert's story is still to be told, and it would be premature to tell it here. But gathering the information has in itself made history. In the summer of 2003 a small group of DPHS members visited the family in France and were surprised to discover everything that Cameron knew still virtually intact.

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Toy Horse Cameron
made for Madeleine.

The farm, his hiding places, tools he used and toys he made for the children, a real treasure trove. Jean Hubert told how as a teenager, he had first found Cameron, and pointed out the field where it happened. In the course of a few days strong bonds of friendship developed, and the idea of the Huberts visiting Dunning arose.

Some of the family emigrated to Canada after the war as they intended (John's father William being one of them) and Jean moved on from there to Las Vegas. But a family reunion is now planned for July 2004, and as part of that, ten or more of them will spend several days in Dunning as guests of the Society. They will see where Cameron lived and will visit his resting place, and have the opportunity to meet people who knew him. One of our members, a retired teacher, is running well attended French language classes in anticipation. Several special events are planned and no doubt the whole occasion will add a further chapter to Dunning's history.

(Written May 2004)

Update added July 2004

The Hubert family visit to Dunning
1st to 4th July 2004

This summer Dunning welcomed ten members of the Hubert family. In the 1940s in Nazi-occupied Normandy, the Huberts secretly sheltered for four years a Dunning native, private Cameron Walker of the Black Watch. The family met some some of Cameron's relations, saw where he grew up and worked, and visited his grave.

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Pierre Cameron Hubert
from Penly, Normandie

Philip photo 5.3kb jpg

Philip Kelly and Karine Hubert
from Laval, Quebec

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Monique Patrelle
from Normandie

Michel photo 5.9kb jpg

Michel Hubert
from Laval, Quebec

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Madeleine Hubert
from Ste.Foy, Normandie

Ghislaine photo 5.6kb jpg

Jean-Pierre and Ghislaine (Hubert)
Pegard from Penly, Normandie

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Bill and Jean Hubert
from Las Vegas, Nevada

What a super weekend! On arrival on Thursday all the guests and hosts enjoyed lunch together. In the afternoon we had a tour of the village and saw Cameron's home and school, and the workshop where he was employed. The evening meal in a local restaurant was lovely, and some of the guests also enjoyed watching a match at the bowling club. On Friday we laid flowers at the war memorial which bears Cameron's name, then travelled to Forteviot on Jim Docherty's 1936 Leyland Tiger bus. There was a memorial service in the church there before flowers were laid on Cameron's grave. At a lovely lunch provided by Forteviot WRI there was opportunity for our guests to talk with several members of the Walker family before they travelled to Perth for a civic reception with the Provost.

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Janette pointing out the sights
during the village tour.

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Laying flowers
at the war memorial

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Boarding the bus
at Forteviot

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Prayers for
Cameron Walker

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With the Provost of Perth
at the Civic Reception

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Buffet meal during the Ceilidh
on Friday

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Bill and Jean
at the Ceilidh

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Whisky in the making
at Glen Turret


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Bill and Jean Hubert
at St.Fillans

On Saturday we had an all-day bus tour of Perthshire which included a visit to a whisky distillery, and a lovely lunch overlooking Loch Earn. Our tour guide was society member Ian Crighton. Not only does he have a wide and deep knowledge ot the area and its history, but he put it over in an extremely interesting way, both in English and in French. We saw many of the most beautiful parts of Perthshire at their finest and also had a good shopping opportunity in Calander. The evening barbecue to which all members and villagers were invited was a perfect end to the day. Several tears were shed during farewells on Sunday morning. No doubt this will not be the end of the story....

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