Press Cuttings about the Walk
Press cutting from the Lanark Advertiser, Thursday 7th April 2005
The Sunday Post, 7th November 2004 - article about the Walk
Historic Scotland Magazine, September 2004 - review of Desire Lines
The Scots Magazine, September 2004 - review of Desire Lines
BBC History, March 2004 - Counterblast debate
BBC History - March 2004 page 27
Daily Record, 16th January 2004 - the latest riposte from the staunchly Scottish 'Voice of Scotland'!
Daily Record, 15th January 2004 - A letter from Duncan Fenton:
Daily Record, 13th January 2004 - joke 'columnist' Traynor must have taken some stick. Here he goes trying to justify his stance again in the alleged 'Voice of Scotland'!
Daily Record, 9th January 2004 - apparently not everyone agreed with their joke 'columnist' Traynor...
The Independent, 6th January 2004
Daily Record, 6th January 2004 - the self-styled "Voice of Scotland"...
Press and Journal, 5th January 2004
Daily Mirror, 5th January 2004
The Sun, 5th January 2004
Daily Record, 5th January 2004
Wallace author David Ross, will embark on a 450-mile pilgrimage to London to bring the spirit of the freedom fighter home. Although no remains of Wallace exist, St Bartholemew s, the historic church next to where he was executed in Smithfield, London, has been booked for a service and a coffin commissioned. The service is expected to be packed out by hundreds of Scots patriots and fans of the Oscar-winning William Wallace movie Braveheart, directed by and starring Mel Gibson, who has been invited along with Sir Sean Connery. Following the service, Ross plans to bring the casket, which will be filled with messages from those attending the service, back to St Kentigern s Church in Lanark for burial.
Wallace never received a burial as his body was hung drawn and quartered and the remains burnt and scattered to the four corners of the country. His grisly demise came after he was captured and brought to London on August 22, 1305, charged with treason against ruthless King Edward II, known as Edward Longshanks . He was sentenced to death, tied to the tails of horses and dragged for six miles through the city before being hung, drawn and quartered at St Bartholomew s on August 23.
Ross, who wrote the book, On The Trail of William Wallace, will set off from Robroyston, near Glasgow, on August 3, 2005 - exactly 700 years to the day since Wallace was captured there. He will walk for a gruelling 19 days before arriving in London on August 22. He said: "I think it is an outrage that William Wallace has never had a proper funeral service and his 700th anniversary seemed the best time to do it. It would be inconceivable for people like Winston Churchill or Abraham Lincoln not to be formally commemorated and the same should apply to Wallace. He lives on in the hearts and minds of many people in Scotland but it is important that he should have a final resting place in the country he loved. The walk to London is something that is very personal to me and I want to do it alone as Wallace was alone for those 19 days. This is my way of showing my own form of patriotism as it would be very sad if the 700th anniversary of Wallace s death was just to drift by. "It will be very demanding physically but I have always kept myself in good shape and I am already in training for it." Ross, from East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, added: "It was a very strange conversation when I phoned the Co-op and asked for the coffin. The guy said Who s it for, and I replied, William Wallace . Everybody is a bit stunned by the idea at first but when you think about it, he is our national hero and it is only right that we should commemorate him. Wallace s legacy has been greatly helped by the film Braveheart and I think it is he who brings our patriotism to the fore more than anybody else."
People who attend the service will be asked to post their personal messages to Wallace in the symbolic coffin, which will represent his "spirit". The casket will be flown back to Scotland where it will be the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Smith Art Gallery in Stirling for a number of weeks before being buried in the grounds of St Kentigern s. The church is where Wallace married his sweetheart Marion Braidfute and the Lanark Wallace Trust were keen to have the coffin buried there as they feel the legendary warrior s historic links to the town have been neglected for too long. Margo Steel, of the Lanark Wallace Trust, said: "When I heard about David s idea I thought it was fantastic and really wanted to get involved. There was talk of burying the coffin in Stirling but I pushed the case for Lanark as there is no official memorial to him here. It would be fantastic for tourism. Who wouldn t want to come and see the final resting place of a Scottish hero like William Wallace."
The event - which is to be filmed by production company Scotfilms - has also attracted the support of the SNP. Spokeswoman Shona Robison said: "The walk and funeral service are without doubt a fitting tribute to Scotland s national hero on the 700th anniversary of his death. "I am sure this idea will capture the imagination of the Scottish public who still hold William Wallace in such great esteem. William Wallace fought and died for a great cause in Scottish independence, and we should therefore give our backing to any worthwhile memorial to him."
The Ottawa Citizen, Canada, January 2004
By Joanne Laucius
There is to be a funeral service at the historic St. Bartholemew's, located next to where Wallace was put to death in Smithfield, then outside London. The actors Mel Gibson, who starred as Wallace in Braveheart, as well as the Scottish actor and nationalist Sean Connery, will be invited. The casket, filled with messages, will be returned for burial to St. Kentigern's church in Lanark, Scotland, where Wallace married Marion Braidfute. She was killed by the English, an event that sparked Wallace's fight against them. Mr. Ross says it's time for Scots to get some closure on their national hero, whose name has become synonymous with Scottish nationalism. "I can't imagine any other nation on the planet not getting closure on their national hero," he said. "He lives in the hearts and minds of the people of Scotland." The trip will take the same 19 days it took Wallace to be brought to London on horseback. There is a not a fragment of Wallace's body remaining, although there are legends about the final resting spots of at least one of his limbs, said Mr. Ross. Wallace was tied to the tails of horses, dragged for about eight kilometres, then hung, drawn and quartered. His organs were burned completely and his limbs were displayed in different parts of Scotland, including his left arm, which was reputedly displayed at Stirling Bridge, the scene of his great victory against the English.
According to those legends, the arm was later buried in an abbey nearby. Mr. Ross, who has written six books about Scottish history, said this story may not be true. But Edward I wanted to completely erase any evidence that Wallace ever existed. Wallace refused to swear fealty to the English king Edward I, known as "Longshanks" and "Hammer of the Scots." "Wallace cut through the idea of the feudal system. It was not fealty, but the soil of Scotland itself. He was ahead of his time," said Mr. Ross. Mr. Ross, a self-trained historian who jokingly says his family history "goes back to the 1950s," has had a lot of support for his walk, which will be about 50 kilometres a day. There is no record to the route Wallace was taken, but the six-foot-five Mr. Ross, 45, who often makes public appearances either in biker's leathers or full highland dress, plans to travel on quiet roads, and says he has been working out in preparation of the gruelling pace. So far, everything about the walk and the funeral has been donated, including the casket. As Mr. Ross tells it, he called on one of Scotland's biggest funeral companies and asked for a coffin. "They asked who it was for, and I said, 'William Wallace.' "
Celtic Heritage, November / December 2003
David's article in a Canadian magazine
Lanark and Carluke Advertiser, 1st December 2003
Lanark and Carluke Advertiser, 13th November 2003
Perthshire Advertiser, 11th November 2003
"Dundee Courier", Wednesday 15th October 2003
A Scots historian is to recreate the last, anguished days of a national hero when he walks from Robroyston to London. Supported by Perth man Jim Scott, David Robertson Ross will walk from the place William Wallace was captured to his place of execution.
The event commemorates the 700th anniversary of Wallace's capture and will mirror the 19 days it took English soldiers to drag him south, with a church service in London completew with a coffin containing messages of support. Those involved are hoping for donations and sponsorship and more details can be found at www.walkforwallace.com
"Dundee Evening Telegraph", Thursday 18th September 2003
Retracing final steps of Scots hero William Wallace
The story of William Wallace has gained a fresh impetus thanks to the film Braveheart and now, 700 years after the Scottish patriot was executed in London, author Dave Ross, whose books include On The Trail Of William Wallace, has announced he'll retrace Wallace's steps as he was dragged through London prior to his execution.
It was on August 23, 1305, that Wallace was executed at the spot where St Bartholomew's church now stands in Smithfield, and, as Wallace never had a funeral, a memorial service will be held on that day in 2005, soon after Dave completes his walk.
Speaking about the event at Perth's Lovat Hotel, Dave said, "Wallace was captured in Scotland on August 3 and taken to London where he appeared 19 days later and was then executed the following day. This journey may be two years away but I'm in training for it already and I'm grateful to Perth's Jim Scott for his help. He's funding the rental of St Bartholomew's for the day and we're hoping for a full house."
Dave continued, "Perth is a particularly poignant place as far as Wallace is concerned. One of the caves he hid in from the English is in the rockface at Kinnoull Hill. The legend of Wallace lives on and I'm looking forward to re-tracing his last steps, an event whcih should also reinforce the fact that he was, indeed, a great Scot."
Article written for a North American magazine "The Scottish Banner", September 2003
WALK FOR WALLACE 2005
He had been captured at Robroyston, on the outskirts of Glasgow on 3 August, where a monument, raised in 1900, marks the spot where this treacherous deed took place. Then he was rushed south, tied to a horse, and exposed to the mockery of the citizens of the English towns he was taken through. He arrived in London, after a journey of some 450 miles, on the 22 August, and his captors tried to take him to the Tower of London, but there were so many thronging the streets to see this Scottish monster that he had to be kept in a cellar in Fenchurch instead.
The next day he was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the current Houses of Parliament, where his sham trial took place. He was accused of treason, but Wallace managed to shout above his accusers that he was a Scot, born in Scotland, and did not recognise England as having any jurisdiction over him. It mattered not to his judges, determined to eradicate this thorn in their sides, who had given his countrymen and women hope, and who had defeated the mightiest army in Christendom on the field of battle at Stirling Bridge in 1297.
He was tied to the tails of horses and dragged through the streets of London for 6 miles, kicked and pelted with filth by the rabble, till he arrived at Smithfield, where the brazier burned and the scaffold awaited.Wallace was hung, but cut down while still alive. His private parts were hacked off and burnt before him. His stomach was cut open and his intestines were pulled out inch by inch. This was all part of the torture of hanging, drawing and quartering, a hideous way for any man to die, but the more so for a noble and patriotic freedom fighter, who had tried to protect his people from the tyranny of an aggressive invader.
His rib cage was pulled open, and his heart, still beating, was torn out, ending the life of Scotland s great hero. But that was not enough. Wallaces' head was severed from his body, his internal organs were all burnt, and his carcass was quartered, the parts being sent north to dishonour the Scots as much as possible. His head was spiked on old London Bridge, so that passers by could marvel at the might of Edward Longshanks, King of England.
Wallace was killed in such a way, so that propaganda could play its part. Longshanks believed that the Scots would not think Wallace worthy of their admiration because he died so basely. He was dismembered and burnt so that he would have no body to rise and face the risen Lord on Judgement Day.
The opposite was true though, as Scotland now had a martyr, and every generation of Scots men and women who have the passion of their countries freedom in their souls, have used the spirit of Wallace as a guiding beacon. No-one was there for Wallace on the day. The man has never had a funeral or a mourning to show that people care.
That is going to change.
2005 sees the 700th anniversary of his death. And as Convenor of the Society of William Wallace, I am determined to show that it may take 700 years, but we do not forget. Wallace will have the mourning, the funeral, that he has always been denied. I intend to retrace the journey south that Wallace was taken to his shameful end. I will follow the route on foot, but will attempt to cover the distance in the same time scale as Wallace was taken south on horseback. So I will leave from Robroyston on the morning of the 3 August, and hope to arrive in London on the 22 August 2005. At midday on the 23, like minded souls will gather at the entrance to Westminster Hall, where we will all march the 6 miles through the city to Smithfield, following the actual route that Wallace was dragged. A funeral service will be held in the church of St Bartholomew, the very same building that was the last thing that Wallace saw.
St Bartholomew s church is the oldest church in London, dating from 1123AD. An empty coffin will stand in the church, and all those attending will be asked to write the words that they would have liked to have said to the man, and the letters will be dropped into the coffin. He may have no body or grave to revere, but he needs none, as his spirit lives in the hearts of all right thinking people who cherish the ideals of freedom. These people will pen the words that do the man justice, and this coffin will be taken back to Scotland, symbolically carrying the spiritual body of Wallace, and the hopes and aspirations of the ordinary Scots whom Wallace represents.
It will not be all sombre on the day though, as there will be evening entertainment with music, where people can gather, mingle and get a chance to chat. The entertainment will be in a local venue, still to be confirmed.
There is a web site set up to keep people informed of the various updates involved between now and the events of 23 August 2005. You may access it on .
There is a facility for anyone who may have the means to help finance this project, as it is a non profit event being carried out with the money of those patriotic enough to care, and not financed by any agencies.The walk to London is some 450 miles, which I will do alone, as it is a long road, not to be lightly undertaken, and I have trained hard to make sure that I will succeed. Anyone who wishes to attend the commemoration in London will be welcome, and they are encouraged to leave any comments on the web site mentioned above.
As detailed in my book, the best selling "On the Trail of William Wallace" Wallace has always been a personal hero, so undertaking the Walk is a my way of showing my regard for the man, and of course for the nation of Scotland itself.
I hope that Scots, native to Scotland, and ex-pats alike, will realise the solemnity of this occasion, and the chance we have to repay a man who gave his all for Scotland. Every generation of Scots since have recognised Wallaces selfless devotion to his native heath, and it is now time to recognise the man himself, and let him know that his horrific death was not in vain.
Wallace, when a youth, was taught these words by his uncle, the priest of Dunipace