Family

DAUGHTERS OF ALBA.

ALBA
DAUGHTERS OF ALBA.

I am now the oldest living male descendent of the four Lee Girls from Troon. The oldest female descendent is but 3 years younger than me. Alas only one of the four Lee girls is still amongst us and I believe she is 92. This is “K” the middle of the five and my last Aunt. The story of these five ordinary but remarkable women would fill volumes. Born just before the depression but growing up during it. They also lived through World War II with “K” serving as a WREN in the Royal Navy. “M” the second oldest was in the ATS stationed on a RAF Bomber base in Scotland. “V” the youngest worked in a munitions plant in England. “E” the oldest worked for Fairey Aviation building aircraft for the RAF. “E” wasn’t a Lee girl she was a Scott a step-sister to the four Lee girls. Same mother different father. “T” my Mom stayed home and took care of the house. When the Commandos were formed the Headquarters for the 4th was in Troon and my Father was billeted in my Grandmothers’ house. It was here that he met my Mom and married her in late 1941, she was just 18. At 19 my mom gave birth to me and less than one month before her 21st birthday she was a war widow. Her experience wasn’t that uncommon back then as it happened to hundreds if not thousands of young women.
After the war my Mom got remarried to a Canadian chap who had been living in England before the war. He brought us to Canada in 1947. The next to come was “M” and her daughter “P”. “M” would marry a Canadian man with a young daughter and together they would have 3 more daughters. “K” and her husband and 2 daughters were the next to come along with my grandmother. The last to come here were “V” and “E”. “V” also would marry a Canadian and have 2 sons and a daughter. “E” never married. So by the very early 50s’ the Lee girls were in Canada raising their families and becoming part of Canadian society. Of all the children of these women 4 of us were born in Scotland.
These four Lee women, Irish on their fathers’ side and English on their Mothers. Their Father was born in Galway and their Mother, (my Nanny) was born in London, a Cockney. My Mom married a professional solider from Dundee so I am ¼ Irish, ¼ English, and ½ Scots by blood but in every other respect Canadian. To tell the stories of these four Lee women and their step-sister would as I said take volumes. Their lives and loves, joys and sorrows perhaps not much different than others of their generation but then again no two life stories are the same. Now four of the five are gone and only “K” is still with us. How she fares I know not as there seems to be a breakdown in the relationship I have with that part of the family. So here I sit one day into the beginning of my 73rd year thinking of my Mother and how much I wish she were still here. Alas that cannot be but the memory of her and her sisters these Daughters of Alba, these women we loved, still burns bright with those of us who are left to carry on.

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My Opinion

UNITED OR SEPERATE.

LION RAMPANT The Saltire

UNITED OR SEPERATE

Above and left is the Royal Banner of Scotland, The Red Lion Rampant. It is not the country’s flag. That distinction belongs to the Cross of St. Andrew, “The Saltire”. Both the Banner and the Saltire are representative of an ancient and proud people. The Saltire has been the symbol of Scotland since 832 C.E. when Oengus (Angus) the second led an army of Picts and Scots to victory over the Angels. The story goes that Oengus prayed for victory the night before battle and swore that if victorious he would proclaim St. Andrew the Patron saint of Scotland. The story further states that on the day of the battle white clouds in the form of St. Andrews’ Cross (X) appeared over the field of battle and that the Scots when seeing that soundly defeated the Angels. From that day to this the “Saltire” has been the flag of these proud northern peoples.
I am a Scot by birth the son of a Campbell from Dundee. Yes a Scot by birth but a Canadian by upbringing and culture. Even though I left Scotland 67 years ago and I am more Canadian than Scot deep down in my heart my love for Scotland still abides. I am proud of my heritage and the accomplishments that Scotland had given the world. That little corner of my heart that is Scotland says “YES” but my brain says “NO”. I fear that if Scotland breaks from the United Kingdom it will be her downfall.

When you look back into the History of Scotland you will come away with the impression that Scotland had little or no love for its’ southern neighbour England. It is almost safe to say that next to fighting each other England came next. Scottish dislike and distrust of the English (Sassenach) led it to form an alliance with France, “The Auld Alliance”, which has never been revoked since concluded by John Balliol King of Scotland and Phillip 1Vth of France in 1295. Simply stated its purpose was if either Scotland or France was attacked by England they would come to each other’s aid. From 1328 until 1707 Scotland was an independent realm. In 1603 when Elizabeth 1st of England died without an heir the English invited James V1th of Scotland to become King James 1st of England. Even though the same monarch ruled in each nation they were independent of each other. After more than five centuries of conflict between the two countries the English finally got control of Scotland (through the back door) with the Act of Union in 1707. Ever since its’ inauguration the Scottish people have not liked this Union as they feel it was foisted on them by wealthy Lords and businessmen on both sides.

Now 307 years later on this coming 18 September an Independence Referendum will take place and depending on the outcome hangs the
future of the United Kingdom. As I stated above my heart is for the YES side but my brain is screaming NO and one should never make important decisions relying on what the heart wants. If Scotland votes yes then in 2016 it will become an independent nation and much will change. Not everything will though as Queen Elizabeth will still be the lawful Monarch and Scotland will stay in the Commonwealth. As a Monarchist I would be very disappointed if this were not the case. Elizabeth is my true and lawful Monarch as she if for over the 50 nations that make up the Commonwealth.
We Scots are a proud people with a long and Glorious History. We have never been totally conquered by an enemy. Hell even the Romans gave up and built a wall across the island of Britannia to keep the northern savages out. The Scots invaded from Ireland and fought the Picts finally assimilating them to forge the Scottish Nation. The Angels and Saxons tried to conquer us follows by the Norsemen, the Normans, and finally the English. None succeeded. In the book “The lion of the North” a History of Scotland John Prebble wrote that “the British Empire was forge by the blood of Scots”.
No matter how the votes turn out the Scots will still be amongst us they are not going anywhere and if or when the need arises they will still be there to defend not only their part of Great Britain but all of it. They are after all “The Kilted Devils from Hell” as the Germans called us in two World wars.

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