My Grandfather Alexander McGregor Wilson (whom I never had the privilege of meeting) was a member of the Territorial Army and was called up for duty with the Regular Army as part of the 51st Highland Division several days before war was declared. He left the UK for France on 29th January 1940 and became part of the Field Ambulance Staff, eventually being posted to a position in front of the Maginot Line in April. On 12th June he found himself surrounded by Germans in St Valery where they were all marshalled together to be marched to confinement. Along with a friend he manged to escape taking refuge in a brickyard but they were seen and was eventually captured again on the road. He managed to escape for a second time (unseen this time) and ended up travelling all over France with the help of local families (at a great risk to themselves) in the hope of eventually getting back home.
They were eventually helped to cross the Pyrenees in December but were captured again on the other side and imprisoned in a place called Figueras where conditions were really dim, they slept on concrete floors with no blankets, no glass in the windows and hardly any food. Sanitation was 1 bucket for about 34 men and was only emptied once a day. They were eventually transferred to Barcelona and then onto Zaragoza where they were sent to a civil prison which housed hundreds of Spaniards. They were then moved to Cervera (an 8 hour journey) where they were quartered in a large basement divided into small cells well below ground level where they stayed for 15 days, being fed on cabbages and beans. They were eventually moved to a larger prison (he didn’t name it) where they were given prison clothes and had their heads shaved. They were marched every day to a drill square where they had to stand in the freezing cold and were given their jobs for the day, one being lugging stones about in the quarry. My Grandfather reused to go into any further details about his time in this camp but he suffered 9 weeks in internment. They were eventually helped by the British Military Attache who secured their release.
Their travels started in June 1940 & on 28th February 1941 they were freed to go to Gibraltar where they travelled by sea back to Britain arriving in UK on 18th March. My Grandfather wrote his experiences up in a book which my Granmother gave to a Journalist after the war. Unfortunately it was heavily censored before being returned to her and as a result we lost a lot of his story but still have around 18 pages of his writings.