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Metadata for text 19
No. words in textN/A
Title Air Druim an Eich Sgiathaich
Author Mac a’ Bhreatunnaich, Pol
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1987
Date Of Language 1950-1999
Publisher Acair
Place Published Stornoway
Volume N/A
Location National, academic and local libraries
Geographical Origins Barra
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name N/A
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 20.9cm x 14.6cm
Short Title Air Druim an Eich Sgiathaich
Reference Details EUL: Celtic Library: HS MacA
Number Of Pages vi, 66
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Pol Mac a’ Bhreatunnaich was still in Secondary School in Fort William when the Second World War began in 1939. When he left school, he went to Glasgow to train at the Wireless College as he prepared himself for a career at sea. After completing his training, he found work at Rowans building boats while waiting for his call-up to go to sea for the first time. Before the call-up came, however, he had signed up for the army, and made his way to England to be trained. This book chronicles his life in the army during and after the war, beginning with the various training camps he attended in England, before he was admitted into the paratroopers. He served in France, Belgium and Germany (where he was stationed when the war ended), and after the war he was sent to Palestine before being released from service.
Contents This volume begins with a Facal-toisich (p. v) by the author, in which he states that this is not an authoritative account of the war but is intended only to describe life in the army during this period from the viewpoint of a young soldier defending his country. The main body of the text is presented in 5 chapters as follows:

A’ Feitheamh Gairm (pp. 1-4): This first chapter introduces the author and tells of his passage into the army (see Social Context above).

A’ Bhonaid Dhearg (pp. 5-31): In this chapter, the author tells of his training at various camps in England, and his eventual admittance into the paratroopers. He describes his first encounters with the Germans in France, before his regiment was ordered back to England after successfully defending their position. They were then allowed two weeks leave, and the author travelled to Barra to see his parents and friends before returning to camp. Six weeks before Christmas they were told that they were going to Holland to help the Americans defend against the Germans.

“San Arm Cheàrr” (pp. 32-39): This chapter describes his company’s spell in the Ardennes mountains before the orders came to return to England. They were then sent to Germany where they remained until the end of the war. The title stems from an incident in which the author and another soldier had lost sight of their own company and by mistake tagged onto the end of a company of German soldiers before realising their error.

An Ruaig gu Schwerin (pp. 40-53): This chapter details the rest of their time in Germany and includes, among other stories, descriptions of the remains of German concentration camps that they came across, their encounters with the Russian soldiers, and the German surrender. Two weeks after the war ended they returned to England and those who were to remain in the army were allowed a few weeks leave.

Palestine — Mì-chinnt is Riasladh (pp. 54-64): After the war, the author’s company prepared to be sent to Malaya but, in the end, were sent to Palestine. This final chapter details events in Palestine, and concludes with their return home in March 1947.
Sources
Language This book contains a large amount of terminology relating to both physical and psychological aspects of war, e.g. ànradh (p. v), aintighearnas (p. v), ganntas bìdh agus aodaich (p. 1), rèiseamaid (p. 1), na wirelessan (p. 1), a’ spaidsearachd (p. 1), a’ gabhail seilbh ann an dìgean (p. 1), armachd (p. 2), peileir (p. 2), prìosanaich (p. 2), fo ruaig an nàmhaid (p. 2), na clàir-ainm (p. 2), fo bhròn (p. 2), a’ ceumnachadh (p. 2), bonaidean (p. 2), beuclaidean (p. 2), furan meaning ‘salute’ (p. 2), màirnealachd (p. 2), a chruaidh-chàs (p. 3), Oifis na Mara (p. 3), plèanaichean (p. 3), Freiceadain-an-Adhair (p. 3), Chumhachdan an Adhair (p. 4), a’ faighinn brath (e.g. p. 4), fo ùghdarras a’ chrùin (p. 6), Fheachd Adhair (p. 6), paraisiutadh (p. 6), sglamhachd (p. 7), air a’ bhlàr-dhrillidh (p. 7), uidheam-catha (p. 7), uidheaman-cogaidh (p. 13), am batall (p. 13), peileirean-spealgaidh (p. 14), culaidhean (p. 14), slige (p. 23), pìosan chanabhas (p. 26), armailt-iarainn (e.g. p. 27), arabhaig (p. 27), sràidean nan smùr gu làr (p. 28), orcan biasdail (p. 28), cuideachd-an-adhair (p. 30), trusgan (e.g. p. 30), buille (e.g. p. 31), pocannan-cadail (p. 32), fo imcheist (p. 33), strìochdadh (p. 34), a’ toirt ionnsaigh air (p. 34), cabhlach (p. 36), a leithid a shèisd-thoirm (p. 36), a dh’aindeoin an iorghaill san speur (p. 36), spealg (p. 37), furachail (p. 37), fras eile pheileirean (p. 37), àrd-oifigich (p. 37), sruth de ghunnachan-grad a’ sileadh am peilleirean (p. 37), daingeann (p. 40), sabaid-ealamh (p. 40), air am pronnadh gu làr (p. 40), an toirt fo smachd (p. 41), a’ cumail an t-sluagh fo’n dòrn (p. 41), a’ sloisreadh (p. 42), na tùran-fhreiceadain (p. 43), babagan-guailne airgid (p. 48), luideagan (p. 43), aig sgròban a chèile (p. 50), chaidh an dochann le toirmean an adhair (p. 50), na clàir-uachdair meaning ‘the upper decks’ (p. 55), and clag-smàlaidh (p. 63).

Other vocabulary items of interest include fear-pàipeir (p. 4), faicsinneach (p. 5), giobag aodaich (p. 6), coma-co-dhiù (p. 14), leis a’ chiad ghlasanaich (p. 21), gun bhoiseag uisge (p. 27), air an sgèimheachadh (p. 30), ro shealladh (p. 33), foghainteach (p. 34), leth-aon (p. 43), and eadar an gul ’s an gal (p. 63).
Orthography The author’s dialect may be represented in his use of terms such as feasgar Dòmhnach (p. 2), maille ri (e.g. p. 3), smaointinn (p. 3), a mo dheisidh (p. 4), matà (p. 4), cuir neònas orm (p. 8), ag ùisneachadh (e.g. p. 6), ge be air bith (p. 7), greise (e.g. p. 24), deannan againn (e.g. p. 26), tha mi an amharas (p. 33), gu h-àraid (p. 34), uige for thuige (p. 35), a bu ghiorra rather than a b’ fhaisge (p. 41), a bhàrr air sin (p. 42), air thàillibh (p. 61), thun instead of chun (p. 62), ciod air bith an reusan (p. 63), and an ùine gheàrr rather than ghoirid (p. 63). It is also worth noting the author’s use of the plural forms àitean (p.32), gunnachan (e.g. p. 37), and bàthchannan (p. 41).

The text contains a number of grammatical forms and syntactic features that may be of interest. For example, the author frequently uses bu + adj. at the start of sentences e.g. Bu neònach e (p. 16), B’ uabhasach fhèin (p. 17). In the conditional tense, the author uses the synthetic form of the second person plural e.g. b(h)uinneamaid (p. 2) and ruigeamaid (p. 5). He also uses gun instead of dhan (e.g. p. 3), o instead of bho (e.g. p. 2), mi fhèin rather than mi fhìn (p. 2), and a-rithis rather than a-rithist (e.g. p. 6).

The orthography is generallly that of the late twentieth century. Only the grave accent occurs in this text; but the GOC conventions are not followed strictly.
Edition First edition. The text is well written, easy to follow, and there are relatively few typing errors.
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