Lieutenant David Haughton FINLAYSON

Photos - Mary Smith

David Finlayson was born 25 September 1923 at Anglet, near Bayonne in France, the son of a Scottish father, John Campbell Finlayson and an English mother, Lilian Edith (née Tipper). The couple had settled in France after John Finlayson had worked there during the First World War, building trenches for the British Army as a result of his experience as a lumberjack in Canada. Together with his older brother (Frances – spelt the French way) John and sister, (Lilian) Mary, he was bi-lingual and attended school in France until the age of 13.........

With France about to capitulate, the Finlayson family was forced to flee the country, taking a taxi to Bordeaux in June 1940 and being fortunate to catch one of the last boats leaving for England on the 18th of that month. The family, having left almost all their belongings in France, were near to destitute. They settled in Wolverhampton where Finlayson attended Wolverhampton Technical College to study engineering.  He worked in an uncle’s factory in Willenhall, Staffordshire for 18 months, but then decided to study medicine.  His change of career plans were put on hold, however, as Finlayson grew increasingly impatient to join the British Army. He tried to join up locally in 1941, but was turned away as still too young. Undeterred, he left home and travelled to London where he felt he would have a better chance of enlisting. He was proved right, and subsequently joined the Royal Armoured Corps, serving as a Lance-Corporal with 55 Training Regiment at Farnborough in Hampshire for some six months before he came to the attention of SOE............. [Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

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