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A Step on the Road to Freedom

It was during the 60th anniversary of the Scottish National Party in 1994 when it was first put to me that, as one who was with the Y.N.A. from its start to finish, 1936 - 1946, I should write a biographic account of the Group, as far as my memory and of those members still alive, could garner.

With great trepidation, I have dared to disturb this ghost, with the help of various diaries and files, i.e. The Scottish Secretariat, and the files on Scottish Nationalist History. These all gave impetus to my efforts. However, if there seems, on occasions, a lack of final detail this is because of respect for the privacy of individuals and organisations concerned

My own nationalist background was fed by a very Scottish school teacher, in my primary years, at a central Edinburgh School ( Castle Hill ). Cockie Laidlaw was a man after my own heart. His constant reference to the history of Scotland, and his interpretation, made me seek further information at the library adjacent to my home. The great Scottish historians, including Sir John Stirling Maxwell, gave me all the information I wished to know. I was convinced, even then, that Scotland should be free.

I was also deeply moved by the extreme poverty existing at the time in the High Street of Edinburgh. Through my playmates I was invited into their homes and found, with a tinny of tea, sitting on an orange box, with a tea chest for a table, that despite this, a kindness, all on its own, still existed. Their fathers had all returned from World War I to a "land fit for heroes to live in", to find it was 14 bobís worth of "Buroo" money, and "get on with it". This further convinced me that Scotlandís destiny must be in her own hands.

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