My Hero, My Soldier Laddie


From Christina McKelvie MSP at the Scottish Parliament.

The Parliament welcomes the publication of ‘My Hero, My Soldier Laddie’ by artist and writer Duncan Brown who was instrumental in securing the raising of the monument that now stands in Hamilton Town Square to the memory of these 14 men. The Parliament believes that the type of oral and social history found in My Hero, My Soldier Laddie plays a crucial role in uncovering, illuminating and preserving Scotland’s past and the lives of ordinary Scots who made extraordinary contributions, and congratulates Duncan Brown on his considerable achievement in this respect."

From Duncan Brown one of Scotland's foremost artists, comes a story written from the heart. A story which details the courageous, heart wrenching and at times astonishing true life stories of the Scotsmen who gave their all for their country and were given the military's highest honour.

The story starts with the author's discovery of a long forgotten hero of Scotland who won one of the first ever Victoria Crosses, and then leads to finding fourteen individual stories of men from the area of Lanarkshire who also received the honour. A fifteen foot monument was then raised to their memory. The end of the book is Duncan's own personal monument to all of Scotland's 172 Victoria Crosses.

Images of the 14 Victoria Cross Winners who inspired the book can be found here.

From Dame Vera Lynn D.B.E, LLd, M.Mus.

Thank you so much for the book, it looks absolutely wonderful and I will really enjoy reading it. The concept paintings and overall presentations are excellent. How very interesting that the book was debated in the Scottish Parliament. It is therefore of great interest to the people in Scotland. All the best with it. My very best wishes. Yours, Vera Lynn."

From Tania Szabo,daughter of Violette Szabo, George Cross, Croix de Guerre with Bronze Star.

Dear Duncan, Today was the first day in the last three I have been down to the Violette Szabo Archive room and when I arrived this morning I found your package. You have written a truly fascinating volume – and pretty well all of it new to me. You have done Scotland proud. It is livened by the plates of your paintings of heroic deeds in heroic settings. Thank you very much Duncan, it is certainly now one of my treasures. All the very best. Tania."

From Jim MacDonald Nova Scotia Editor of The Victoria Cross Bibliography of Canada.

Your book arrived and I am not disappointed. Well done…you put your heart and soul into it. It will be listed in the second revised edition of the Victoria Cross Bibliography. Well done. Jim MacDonald, Canada"

From Ronnie Browne of The Corries..

Good news about the book. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far. Best of luck with it. Ronnie"

From Peter Worsley Editor of ‘This England’ magazine

Excellent book. It will appear in the autumn issue of ‘This England’ under Heroes. Best wishes, Peter."

From Ellen Shirkie.

What can I say but…one fabulous book. Historic, Educational and with the story told in such graphic detail capturing the reality of war. Your sheer brilliance in your imagination of the likeness of the heroes in your paintings is magnificent and the coincidences during your research was unbelievable. There is no doubt that you wee the ‘chosen one’ to write this book and without question it should be distributed to every school in the UK as it is part of Scottish History which seems to have somehow elapsed from the schools curriculum. Enjoyed watching the parliamentary debate and was delighted but not surprised at the wonderful and well deserved tribute which you received from the members of the Scottish Parliament. Regards, Ellen and Alex Shirkie "