Celtic & Scottish Studies

Jock's Jocks: Voices of Scottish soldiers from the First World War

The EERC is soon to publish a new book edited by its Director Professor Gary West in association with National Museums Scotland Enterprises – Publishing.

Cover of Jock's Jocks

North East folksinger Jock Duncan spent over fifty years of his life seeking out and interviewing ‘the Jocks’ – Scottish veterans of the Great War.

The stories of 59 men from 14 regiments, including the Gordon Highlanders and the Black Watch, are rendered here in the rich and earthy Scots dialects of the individual contributors, and so retain the character and authenticity of the speakers.

We hear their tales of the searing pain of razor-sharp hems of frozen kilts on bare knees, swapping presents with the enemy during the Christmas truce, the terrors of poison gas, injury and violent death … Yet there is humour here too, and a recognition that they were the lucky ones – they all came home.

Work continues to digitise the original audio recordings on which this book is based. It is hoped that these recordings will be made available online soon. Please check here for updates.