Battle hardened

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To THE victor the spoils, the greatest being the control of history. Now that we are indeed free men, we could perhaps take a more objective look at Bannockburn.

Bruce supported Edward I against Wallace, hoping for the reward of a vassal kingdom. Edward instead, not trusting him, elected to endorse the majority choice of John Balliol. Bruce, now forced to go for broke, undermined Balliol’s attempts at independence, murdered the other chief contender and crowned himself king but was then rejected and driven out. His later return almost failed at the hands of the McDowalls of Galloway, but he and remaining brother Edward survived to begin a reign of terror aimed at enforcing support. This amounted to little less than genocide in Galloway, Argyll and Buchan.

We should look on Bannockburn more as the culmination of a successful campaign by a brutal medieval warlord to grab himself a kingdom, one result of which was several years of pillage and wanton slaughter of the people of northern England and Ireland. The battle was an important event in our history but one for solemn reflection, not celebration.

DR A McCORMICK

Kirkland Road

Terregles, Dumfries