Walk for Wallace

David R Ross

Few people interested in Scottish history can be unaware of David R Ross, biker, Scottish author and historian. His books "On the Trail of William Wallace", "On the Trail of Robert the Bruce", "On the Trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie", "A Passion for Scotland", and "Desire Lines" are, by and large, famed wherever the Scots diaspora reside. He is also Convenor of the Society of William Wallace, which is based in Elderslie, and has become a familiar sight at all manner of commemorations in Scotland. Canada and the USA have not escaped his notice, and he has made several speaking tours there, as well as promotional tours for his books.

A new video file of David setting off from Robroyston (and Ted Christopher singing) has been posted on YouTube - it can be viewed here. Thanks to Willie W. for this one

A DVD of the Walk for Wallace has now been released, as has David's latest book "For Freedom", which outlines events in August 1305 and August 2005. Both of these items can be ordered online now, and signed copies of the DVD are available in both PAL and NTSC format. For more details, look in "Orders".

Following the success of the Walk for Wallace in highlighting the 700th anniversary of the judicial murder of Scotland's best-known hero, a campaign is now under way to have Sir William Wallace's letter of safe conduct from the French King to the Pope returned to Scotland. This artefact was in Wallace's possession when he was captured by Menteith, and has been held in London ever since. It is currently in a drawer at the Records Office in Kew. Our intention is to heighten public opinion that this physical link with Scotland's hero be returned to Scotland and placed on public display. For more details, look in "Updates", - and please sign the Petition for its return. There is a link to the online petition from the menu.

A serendipitous shot at Stonehaven Wallace Day, 27th August 2004 (taken by Mirza)- author flanked by the Saltire and an extract from the Declaration of Arbroath

A serendipitous shot at Stonehaven Wallace Day, 27th August 2004 (taken by Mirza)
- author flanked by the Saltire and an extract from the Declaration of Arbroath

Sir William Wallace was captured at Robroyston by the traitor Menteith on the 3rd of August 1305, and arrived in London on the 22nd of that month, the journey having taken a mere 19 days. On the 23rd, he was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the current Houses of Parliament, where his mockery of a trial took place. Condemned of treason against a King to whom he was not subject nor to whom had he sworn allegiance, he was taken outside and tied to the tails of horses to be dragged the 6 miles through the city to his murder at Smithfield.

Author David R Ross, talking to 40,000 Canadians at Fergus Highland Games, Canada, August 2002

Author David R Ross, talking to 40,000 Canadians at Fergus Highland Games, Canada, August 2002

David recreated that shameful journey, walking the approximately 450 miles from Robroyston to London, between the 3rd and 22nd of August 2005. He walked alone, and well-wishers were requested to respect the fact that this was David's own personal tribute to Sir William Wallace, and not to request to accompany him on any part of this walk. Although David was undertaking the walk to London alone, those invited to attend the service and who felt fit enough for a six-mile city hike met outside Westminster Hall at noon on the 23rd, to walk the route that Wallace was dragged to his death. Several hundred turned up and walked through the streets of London, culminating in speeches by the plaque at St Bartholomew's, where over a thousand people gathered to listen..

A private commemorative service was then held inside St. Bartholomew's at 3 pm, following which the symbolic coffin representing the Spirit of Wallace was carried for over a mile to the London Welsh Centre, followed by a large crowd of well-wishers and patriots, and a wake was held, attended by those invited to the service.

Photographs of the day can be found on the Photos pages, and these have been added to regularly. The Homecoming was held in Lanark on 11th September 2005, the date of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Many photographs of this event are also available on the site.

The organisers of the Walk for Wallace wish to extend their thanks to all who helped during the preparations for this event, and most especially those who made such a success of the day itself. Special thanks to the London Police, who were unfailingly polite and helpful to all those who attended.

The story of the Walk is now covered in both the book and the DVD.