My Grandfather Dreams Twice of Flanders, is a poem based on an experience Ron Butlin had when he was around six years old. That was when he first noticed people wearing poppies, and he asked his mother why. She explained about war, and about death, neither of which made much sense.
Then she told him about his grandfather who had ironically died on the day peace was declared, after lying in hospitals for years with injuries sustained earlier in the war. As a child he had nightmares, and the poem is a sort of exorcism.
Ron Butlin was born in Edinburgh in 1949, but grew up in the countryside in the village of Hightae near Dumfries. He has been a computer operator, security guard, footman and model, as well as Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University. He writes in English and Scots.
Images: © Poppy Scotland (Eamonn McGoldrick), National Library of Scotland (Scottish Screen Archive) & Newsquest (Herald & Times).
World War One memories of Falkirk people now available on Scran.
This three-part collection from Falkirk Archives has been digitised from original cassette tape recordings compiled for Falkirk Museum’s First World War exhibition held back in 1984.
Interviewees talk about life on the Home Front in Falkirk and away on the Western Front during the conflict. Women recall their roles working in local munitions factories and the attitudes of male workers in the factories to women at this time. There are recollections of the Suffragette Movement and when women gained the vote after the war. Men recall their experiences in the trenches during the conflict and remember the impact of The Armistice on those fighting at the Front. An interview with a female munitions worker in Falkirk during World War Two offers an interesting comparison.
Each Falkirk’s First World War interview comes with a summary with timecodes and a complete transcript.
Image © H L Foster
Hot off the press, the Scranalogue has arrived. We are delighted to share what’s happening at Scran via our brand new blog. Keep up to date with new content arriving in our many collections, for example we’ve some great new oral histories about Falkirk during World War One.
See what we’re up to in the field trialling Kite Aerial Photography thanks to Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme, SNAPS
Meet us in person, we’ll be busy exhibiting and supporting events throughout autumn 2015, starting with the Scottish Learning Festival quickly followed by Doors Open Day in Edinburgh.
Image © Scottish Maritime Museum. Wireless News from SS Athenia, 1933. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk