Mccrae's Battalion: The Story of the 16th Royal Scots (Hardback)Jack Alexander (author)
Hardback Published: 23/10/2003
- Not available
McCrae's Own was the "Heart of Midlothian Battalion", mentioned all too briefly in Martin Middlebrook's classic book "The First Day on the Somme". Raised in Edinburgh shortly after the start of the Great War, it was perhaps the finest unit in Lord Kitchener's volunteer army - a brotherhood of sportsmen, bound together by their extraordinary colonel and their loyalty to a quaintly named Association Football club, the famous Gorgie "Hearts". McCrae's were blooded in the Battle of the Somme, losing three-quarters of their strength on the first day alone. The Colonel himself was invalided home. In time, the battalion recovered. It came of age at Arras, endured the muddy horror of Passchendaele, and held the line unbroken in the face of furious German attacks on the Lys in 1918. For almost a century, their story has remained untold. It was all but lost forever. Now, after 12 years of exacting historical detective work, Jack Alexander has reclaimed the 16th Royal Scots for posterity. In this book, he draws upon interviews with veterans and a unique archive of letters, diaries and photographs, assembled from the families of more than 1000 of Sir George McCrae's men. Who was the Colonel? How did the players come to enlist? Where did they fight? Where did they die? What became of the survivors? Why were they forgotten? Who was the handsomest man in the world? All these questions and many more are finally answered: the truth proves more remarkable than legend.
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
Weight: 695 g
Dimensions: 241 x 161 x 31 mm
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