Print

  AS PROMISED - SAMPLE CHAPTER FROM SCOTTISH MILITARY DISASTERS - > Book Extract

* Those who enjoyed reading about the Royal Scots’ Armistice Day battle with the Bolsheviks in 1918 might 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?

***** Read about the veterans of Wellington's Army lured into misery in the Canadian Wilderness in a new article called  Pension Misery

****** 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.

******** January 2016 marks the centenary of Winston Churchill taking command of 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers on the Western Front. How did the man who sacked so many British generals during the Second World War make out in his own most senior battlefield command? Find out by having a look at Churchill in the Trenches .  

********* 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 .

************* The 2017 Book of the Year Award has just been announced. See Book of the Year

**************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. So, I've decided to keep the link to my latest article on the massacre in the Blog section. See Batang Kali Revisited  

Spelling It Out
I’m reading another American book at the moment. Now, if I read an American book I shouldn’t grumble if it is filled with words spelled the American way. But sometimes I still do. But the real irritant is that I have to keep reminding myself that that is not how I have to spell words in question when I’m writing for a mainly British audience. Of course, one day everyone will spell things the American way. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, unless a careful eye is kept on word processing software (most of it of United States origin), it will change spellings to the American version without asking. Yes,  I know about setting the dictionary to UK English and making that the default but that doesn’t always work. And secondly, the past two or three generations of teachers in the United Kingdom have verged on the illiterate. It’s not their fault. It all dates back to the 1960s when educationalists believed that being constrained by grammar and spelling was killing kids’ creative juices. So, good spelling and grammar were not taught early enough in a child’s schooling. A rot set in that just got worse and worse. How can today’s teachers teach something they were not properly taught themselves? They don’t have much of a chance when the people who taught them hadn’t been taught because teachers who taught them had not been given a good grounding because the people they learned from were victims of trendy 1960s educational theorists.

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 

White Settlers
When the Scots look at Northern Ireland I wonder how many realise that Kintyre was used as a laboratory for the displacement of the native Celtic population by their Lowland cousins. The Ulster Plantation was mirrored by the plantation of Kintyre after its MacDonald overlords were kicked out by the Edinburgh government. A lot of the best farms in Kintyre are owned by the descendants of Ayrshire farmers brought in by the Campbells. The names Ralston and Armour come to mind immediately. To this day, the farmers have a lot of clout in the Campbeltown area. I recall one of my predecessors as editor of the Campbeltown Courier believed crossing them had cost her her job. And I always suspected that an anonymous complaint that I’d showed up to cover a night-time meeting inappropriately attired had come from one of the farmers’ organisations. It was shame that I left the job before their next meeting or they would have found out my attitude to anonymous complaints. Another pointer to the Kintyre Plantation is the anglicisation of Gaelic family names.  There are a lot of names in the Campbeltown area which suggest they were anglicised a generation or two before those in the rest of the Highlands and Islands. I certainly had never encountered so many MacVicars, McSporrans,  McIlcheres, or MacKinvens before I moved to Campbeltown. 

 

Click on the coffee cup to visit the main blog archive.