My father
Prince Charles Edward Stuart Prince Charles Edward Stuart
By Cosmo Alexander 1724-1772
Prince Charles Edward Stuart William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland By David Morier

Culloden Moor -Trilogy

16 April, 1746.

In the 1950s my father, Bill Martin, was working rear Resaurie Pass, Inverness, helping to build roads. His excavator uncovered human remains and the police were summoned to the site.
The remains were found to be those of a highlander who had been fleeing the slaughter of the aftermath of the battle at Culloden, Drummossie Moor.
My father spent a lonely night beside the grave of the unknown clansman who had lain undiscovered for over two hundred years.
The Battle of Culloden, 16 April 1746, is not commemorated on any British Army Regimental Colours.

A Father's Farewell

Culloden Moor, 16th April 1746

I am nameless now, and I will die here,
Buried beside my son, beneath the bloody turf
With no lament or a prayer
To mark our passing.

Do you remember, Calum
When you held the banner, proudly
Before the adventure, and how we stood
At dawn, on the Drover's road by Lochearnhead
And mother wept as she waved farewell.
Farewell for ever and ever, my husband
And my sixteen-year old.

Now we charge, the last attack
Glorious and futile, musketry rattles
And the grape-shot scythes through our ranks
Rupturing flesh and bone.
See the scarlet coats advance,
Hurrahing, their bayonets glinting,
Moving towards us through the sulphurous smoke.
As I cradle your body, lifeless and broken
It's your mother that I see before me
And our house, thatch and stone and earth
And the rich dark peat we cut, together.

Soon, we both, once again
Shall see our home,
And the tall pines, by the water,
Then the pain will be gone and we shall laugh
As we lie in the heather on Benmore.
Mo ghaol agad a'Chaluim, mo fheoil, mo fhuil, mo h'anam.*
I whispered that, for you, as we stood in the terrible rain.
I shall cover you with my plaid, as if you were sleeping, child,
And this day shall pass into night.

I love you, Calum, my flesh, my blood, my soul.

Morag McPhearson, of Glen Lyon

Someone said, he had heard, years later
That my man had been cut down
On the road, near Resaurie Pass,
Fleeing from the slaughter
On the bloody moor, perhaps.

Another, that he had died in the final charge
With the other men of his ken,
Against the bayonets and shot
And shell, of Cumberland's men.

I know not where he fell, whether
It was in battle, or in flight,
I only know that he is gone
These long years, since
And that all of my dreams died,
With him, that day and into the night.

And I waited, in hope
Until the very end, I can wait no more
For my bones are old now, my hair is grey
The wind howls softly, in the eaves
The cattle are lowing from the byre,
And the glowing peat forms faces
From the past, whispering, farewell,
Now, from the fire.

From The Fields of Nova Scotia - I can see the Glens of my youth

From the fields of Nova Scotia, I can see
The glens I roamed, as a child.
Where the eagle flies, proud and free
And the hills are green and wild.
And though this land is green -
This North American plain,
Once more, I see my homeland
My Scottish homeland, again.

We marched from Nairn, that night
Before the battle was done,
Cold, exhausted and hungry
How could we ever have won.
My brothers were cut down, where they stood
And they fell, on the bloody turf,
Raw courage against steel and shot
As if courage was ever enough.

He carried me, wounded, from the field
I never knew his name,
I would have died there, where I lay
But, as my saviour, then, he came.
He wore a locket around his neck,
A portrait of a raven - haired lass,
We rested awhile, in a gully
Somewhere near Resaurie Pass.

Then the soldiers set upon him,
With his swords he saw them off,
But their muskets cut him down,
No mercy, where he lay,
I was hidden by the long grass
And I saw him die, that day.

And then, I was transported
In chains, far upon the sea
And carried, to Nova Scotia
To build a home and find a wife,
A fortunate youth who almost perished,
Gifted a second chance of life.

I ponder, often, who he was
The clansman, with the locket round his neck
And if that lassie waited, until the end
In hope that he would return,
And is there, somewhere, a dark - sad glen
Where a candle will always burn.

My time is almost over, now
This old - man's span is done,
I thank you selfless nobleman
For the battle which you won,
Your victory was dignity
In the pain of our defeat -
I shall thank you soon, my friend
For, in that spirit-glen we'll meet.
The glen, where only soldier's go,
When the battles and suffering are past,
Far from the Glen O'Weeping,
I shall meet you there, at last.

Angus McKenzie of Glen Lyon,
Halifax, Nova Scotia - Canada - 1824.