For the young men of post-war Britain, the train from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen was not unfamiliar. Hundreds of conscripts were required to board the carriages as part of their National Service. The train would pull away from the platform on a Friday night and arrive at the Scottish coastal city by Saturday mid-morning. Iconic red Routemaster buses exchanged for grey-stone buildings and seagulls. There was the novelty of a Highlands map, marked with unknown Gaelic quantities: Glens, Munros, and Gorms, and excitement for rural air, combined with blissful ignorance of the military enforced misery that lay ahead. Or so the old man told us.