* He was an Eighteenth Century Scottish Forrest Gump - Stobo

** 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   

Strangers on a Train
Striking up a conversation with the person sitting next you at the beginning of a long journey can be a risky business. I believe everyone has at least one good story. But maybe the chances of it coming out during a casual conversation on a bus, train or plane are slim. Most often the conversation dies out to the embarrassment of both parties. Many people seem to forestall conversation by putting on headphones almost as soon as they sit down. That's not to say I haven't got lucky a couple of times. Once the Australian woman next to me turned out to be the sister of a girl I was at high school with. When their parents split, one girl stayed in Australia with her mum while the other returned to Scotland with her dad. Another time the guy next to me worked with a former colleague of mine. Sadly my seat mate was flying to Scotland to be at his Dad's deathbed. And there was the rail journey to Inverness. For some reason the carriages were the old fashioned compartments with four seats facing each other and a long narrow corridor down one side, or perhaps doors opening directly out onto the platform . I deliberately didn't start up a conversation with the only other occupant of the compartment until we were only half an hour, 45 minutes, from Inverness. What a mistake. The guy was incredibly interesting and amusing. I have no doubt he would have been incredibly interesting and amusing from the moment we left Edinburgh or Glasgow, I forget which.

Three things struck me when I used to cover Hebburn Magistrates Court. Actually, four things. I decided that if I ever committed a crime I would flee to Scotland and commit another, bigger, crime rather than face England's medieval justice system - magistrates court was only slightly fairer than trial by combat. And I think it was while I was working as a reporter in South Tyneside that I was finally older than most of the accused. Thirdly, the number of crooks who were let off Scot-free provided they fulfilled their supposed "career dream" of joining the Army before their case was called again was noteworthy. If Hebburn Mags was anything to go by, The Light Infantry must have been composed of 80% house-breakers. The fourth thing was how many of my neighbours from north of the Tyne were caught thieving in Hebburn or Jarrow south of the river. It took me a couple of months to work out where I lived was next to a former railway goods yard and for generations whole families had made a living stealing from it. The closure of the goods yard meant the young generation had been forced further afield to pillage.

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  

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