The Hitsøy Brothers
The fishing boat M/B Hitsøy (H 15 F) left Hitsøy to the west of Fjell on 27 August 1941 with some thirty-two people on board (including women and children) and in Lerwick on the 29 August. The boat was skippered by its owner, Nils Hitsøy (1898-1975) and his sixteen year old son, Leif (1924-1974) was also on board. Nils's brothers were also on the boat: Hallvard (1899-1973), Mathias (1901-1990), Olav (1903-1943), Mikkel (1904-1968), Jens (1909-1990) and Kristoffer (1912-1983). There were two further Hitsøys onboard Didrik (1909-) and Hjalmar (1914-) both of whom left immediately for London and served in the Royal Norwegian Navy throughout the war. They are believed to be cousin.
The others included Hans Lillebø, Herman Lønøy, Hagbart Hansen (born 1923), Jenny Hansen (born 1913), Lilly Marie Hansen (born 1939), Harry Haugjord, Anna Nilsen Landro, Berny Midttveit, Nils Olsen Midttveit, Lars Nipen, Ingvald Onstad, Ingvard Selstø, Gunvald Storesund, Per Gerhard Syltøy, Anna Telle, Arne Telle, Malfred Telle, Johannes Trengereid (died in 2002), Arne Øvretveit, Hans Hansen Øvretveit, Mons Øvretveit, and Leonard Hansen Åse. The vast majority of the men were fishermen.
The boat later came to Buckie and was engaged in fishing. Leif Hitsøy, the skipper's son (pictured left) fished from Buckie until 1943 when he joined the Norwegian Navy.
The Hitsøys boarded, at various points with George and Mary Smith at 59 High Street, Buckie and various photographs and other memorabilia from them has been left in the possession of the Smith family.
The picture to the left has Kristoffer Hitsøy written on the back of it but we are still investigating this as the Smiths believed him killed in the war. Kristoffer, in fact, survived the war although one of the other brothers, Olav, died in 1943 so we are still researching this story.
The photograph below is believed to be Hallvard Hitsøy who was employed at the Norwegian Slip in Buckie and shows him with King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav in July 1943.
In November 2018, the note below turned up in Switzerland, in the possession of one of the great-nieces of the Misses Bisset of Ardtannes, St Peter's Road. It was attached to the photograph above left. On it is written the names of the fishermen, none other than Jens, Leif and Kristoffer Histøy. This has, therefore, enabled us to identify the people in a photograph already in the Buckie Fishing Heritage Centre collection and also to date it 7 October 1942.
Mary died in 1989 and is buried at Rathven. The documents on this page are courtesy of Mrs Smith's granddaughter Alison.