Scottish Missionaries in Africa and Education

missionWhile a significant number of Scots went to Africa with the London Missionary Society prior to the mid-nineteenth century, it was then that a notable change took place. This was triggered by the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843. After its formation, the Free Church began to keenly promote foreign missions. This had the effect that the Established Church, perhaps sensing an air of competition, followed suit quickly, also increasing its missionary activities overseas. As Esther Breitenbach has noted, the Disruption ‘released an … Read more

Homecoming in the 1920s

homecomingIt’s another year of Homecoming – a good opportunity to explore an earlier example of it in the early twentieth century. It was then that a growing number of organised group returns took place, with trip planning often facilitated by Scottish associations such as St Andrew’s and Caledonian societies. One such group return, that of over 600 Australians of Scottish descent, took place in the summer of 1928. Described by Australian newspapers as a ‘national pilgrimage to Scotland’, the visit was jointly organised by the … Read more

Global Bannockburn: Historical Ties with the Scottish Diaspora

BannockburnNYAs the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is celebrated, let’s go on a tour of how the Scottish diaspora got involved, in 1914, for the 600th  anniversary. Let’s start with the British Empire’s remotest outpost, New Zealand. The most notable celebration in New Zealand took place in Dunedin – as you may know, this is the Gaelic for Edinburgh – so called because it was set up as a Free Church settlement. In that city the sexcentenary of the Battle was celebrated … Read more

Manitoba’s Young Hero

McLeodAlan Arnett McLeoad was born at the end of April 1899 in Stonewall, Manitoba, establishing his heroic credentials at an early age. As is noted in his biography, he was only nine years old when he ‘removed a trap from the foot of a stray dog, but did not seem to understand why others fussed over his exploit’, exhibiting ‘the same courage, kindness, and modesty that he would later display as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps.’ To this he came via militia training … Read more

The 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1914

BannockburnThe  700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn is imminent and many activities are taking place to celebrate and commemorate the anniversary. There is, for instance, the Battle of Bannockburn Project, a partnership between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, funded by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Project seeks to create an innovative new visitor centre and sensitive landscaping around Bannockburn that will change the way visitors experience the site, ‘making it a truly world-class site for this … Read more


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