Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War
by Daniel Gray
Thirty-five thousand people from across the world volunteered to join the armed resistance in a war on fascism. More people, proportionately, went from Scotland than any other country, and the entire nation was gripped by the conflict. What drove so many ordinary Scots to volunreer in a foreign war? Their stories are powerfully and honestly told, often in their own words: the ordinary men and women who made their way to Spain over the Pyrenees when the UK government banned anyone from going to support either side; the nuses and ambulance personnel who discovered for themselves the horrors of modern warfare; and the people back home who defied their poverty to give generously to the Spanish republican cause. Even in war there are light-hearted moments: a Scottish volunteer drunkenly urinating in his general's boots, enduring the dark comedy of learning to shoot with sticks amidst a scarcity of rifles, or enjoying the surreal experience of raising a dram with Errol Flynn. They went from all over the country: Glasgow, Edinburgh. Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife and the Highlands, and they fought to save Scotland, and the world, from the growing threat of fascism.
'Daniel Gray has done a marvellous job in bringing together the stories of Scots volunteers - in [this] many-voiced, multi-layered book' SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
'Book of the week - Gray deserves applause for shining a light on a lesser-known aspect of the nation's character of which we should all be proud.' PRESS & JOURNAL