Alex Massie

At the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

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Tynecot Cemetary, Flanders.

In Sunset Song Lewis Grassic Gibbon has a minister - himself an old soldier - address his congregation at the unveiling of the War Memorial:

"They went quiet and brave from the lands they loved, though seldom of that love might they speak, it was not in them to tell in words of the earth that moved and lived and abided, their life and enduring love. And who knows what memories of it were with them, the springs and winters of this land and the sounds and scents of it that had once been theirs, deep, and with a passion of their blood and spirit, those... who die[d] in France? With them we may say there died a thing older than themselves, these were... the last of the Old Scots folk."

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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