* Here's one that combines Canadian and Scottish themes  Tunnelling for Victory

** Those who enjoyed reading about the Royal Scots’ Armistice Day battle with the Bolsheviks in 1918might be interested in the same fight as seen from a Canadian viewpoint - Canada’s Winter War

**** Read about the blunder that made Canada an easy target for invasion from the United States - Undefended Border

***** Read about the Second World War's  Lord McHaw Haw                                                 

****** Serious questionmarks over the official version of one the British Army's most dearly held legends - The Real Mackay?

********* It's been a while since I posted a new article. This one's called Temptation

********* Read about how the most Highland of the Highland regiments during the Second World War fared in the Canadian Rockies - Drug Store Commandos.

************ We now have a  Guide to Scottish military museums on this site.  

************* Just weeks before the outbreak of the First World War one of Britain's most bitter enemies walked free from a Canadian jail  - Dynamite Dillon

************** Click to read - - Victoria's Royal Canadians - about one of the more unusual of the British regiments.

************** Read an article about the Royal Scots and their desperate fight against the Bolsheviks on Armistice Day 1918 - Forgotten War A second article, looks at the same battle but through a Canadian lens .

**************No-one has got back to me with a German source for the claim that the kilties during the First World War were known as The Ladies from Hell . See My Challenge to You

**************** A map showing the old Scottish regimental recruiting districts can now be seen by clicking Recruiting Area Map .

***************** The Fighting Men 1746  article now includes the estimated strengths of the Jacobite clan regiments which marched into England in 1745 See Clan Strengths

***************** **I've posted a fresh article - Scotland’s Forgotten Regiments. Guess what it's about.  

******************* The High Court Hearing in London in May 2012 attracted a lot of visitors to this site. See Batang Kali Revisited   

The Fourth Dominion
I came across a description of Scottish troops in the First World War as representing "The Forth Dominion". The context was a discussion of how by 1918 the shock forces of the British Empire on the Western Front came mainly from the then dominions of Canada and Australia. I can't remember which was Third Dominion, either New Zealand or South Africa. The Scots produced four infantry divisions during the war. Three, the 9th, 15th, and the 51st, served entirely on the Western Front while the fourth, the 52nd fought at Gallipoli, in the Middle East and ended the war on the Western Front. The most famous, now, was the 51st, but it wasn't long referred to as Harper's Duds for no reason. Its fighting record was spotty, though poor performances at Arras and Cambrai were down to poor leadership rather than the quality of the rank and file. And there were probably enough Scottish battalions dotted around the British Army's other divisions to form a fifth of their own. Of course Scotland was not a dominion. It had a colonial administration in the form of the Scottish Office. The fact that the dominion governments in Canada and Australia were keen to have all their soldiers serve together gave their troops a stability and cohesion which the Scottish divisions lacked as they were frequently switched from Corps to Corps. Fewer Scottish lives may have been squandered if Scotland had indeed been The Fourth Dominion.

Colonial Government
When I first came to Canada just over 20 years ago people would ask how Scotland was governed. One of the reasons I came to Canada was that its  federal system meant I had more say in how I was ruled than I did back in Scotland. Basically, a lot of the powers exercised by the Scottish Office, in matters such as health, education and policing, were provincial government responsibilities in Canada. And the provincial government was democratically elected. In Scotland the Scottish Office was a colonial administration, taking its orders directly from Westminster. I would say, imagine Alberta had no Legislature, just a bunch of guys appointed by the Feds in Ottawa and you've pretty much got how Scotland is run.  Of course I left before Devolution but I had a pretty good idea that thon Tony Blair would not deliver what we thought he'd promised. Time will tell how that story ends. 

Shameless Plug #9 - With Wellington was among the books recommended as an excellent Christmas present by the prestigious The Society for Army Historical Research. There was another mysterious surge in sales of With Wellington last summer. At the end of May it was the third best selling book about the Peninsular War on the website of one of Britain's biggest booksellers and Number Eighteen in the table for all Napoleonic books.  Last December's  sales surge turned out to be a combination of the venerable Scots Magazine declaring it Book of the Month in its January 2015 edition and a highly favourable review in the Napoleonic Association's newsletter. Scots Magazine's reviewer, nature writer and author, Jim Crumley, declared "I don't much care for military memoirs, but I could not put this one down". Other reviewers have been equally enthusiastic - "If you are interested in the memoirs of British soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars this book is a MUST!... You don't get many Napoleonic memoirs as good as this" and "It is the most candid memoir of the British Army I have ever read... does not pull any punches ... highly entertaining, but also thought provoking..." To have a look at the full reviews check out more about With Wellington  

What do you think? Please feel free to Comment 

Click on coffee cup for more blog entries


Go to top