THE BOOK

Lord George Robertson of Port Ellen KT GCMG FRSE PC, Honorary Regimental Colonel, The London Scottish Regiment

miele
Guards and London Scottish at Mieli at the foot of Monte Camino

Secretary of State for Defence 1997 to 1999, Secretary General of NATO 1999 to 2003

This book is remarkable and quite unique; a memoire where, through Sergeant Robert Souter’s eyes and pen, we see the truly human side of military service in wartime.

Some aspects of conflict we already know – the grimness, the fatigue, the death and destruction. But there is another side – the camaraderie, the intense humanity, the team spirit and bonding, the compassion and the real humour – all the special mark of the British Army.

tearuski
Tea Ruski?
After being marched away from Stalag 383 British Tommies offering tea to an emaciated barefoot Russian prisoner.
And here is where Bob Souter comes into his own, a genius with his drawing skills and his turn of phrase. The humour in his drawings and sketches is at times black, occasionally gallows, more frequently warm and generous but always perceptive and insightful. The London Scottish, the ‘London Jocks,’ had their specialities and their own distinctive identity, which Souter captures brilliantly. The Hodden grey uniform, the volunteer ethos, the mix of London and Scottish cultures, the ever-so-slight irreverence, all combined with tenacity, discipline and courage under fire, were to mark out the Regiment from others in the Second World War as they had in the First.

The loyalty to the Regiment shines through in these works and that loyalty is retained to this day among those, who have had the experience and privilege of serving in it. As I have come to know and to feel, in my time with the London Scottish, it is a very special band of brothers – and this book is a wonderful tribute to some of its finest characteristics.

George Robertson