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on 16 March 2014
I bought this book as my great uncle Peter was killed in this awful rail disaster, which is still Britain's worst.All these young Scots lads from Leith and surrounding area joined the 7th Royal Scots to fight for King and country, my own uncle because his brother (My Grandad) had been killed at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle only a few months earlier.The author explains in great detail how the disaster occurred near Gretna Green.....a collision between a full troop train travelling south to Liverpool on their way to Gallipoli and a stationary goods train then another passenger train from London travelling north ran into the wreckage causing even more carnage.Unbelievably, the surviving soldiers, after some rest, were still sent off to the hell that was Gallipoli.This is an excellent book, very well researched and detailing the subsequent trial of the signalmen whose lack of attention to railway company rules might have averted the tragedy.The Caledonian Railway Company itself doesn't come out too well either. Not much is known about this forgotten disaster....the 100th anniversary is on 22nd May 2015 next year,so buy this book if you wish to fill in any gaps in your knowledge of the event,if you have relatives who might have perished or survived it or to add to information about WW1.It's a cliffhanger made all the more poignant because it really happened.4 children on one of the trains were killed and incredibly, no one ever claimed their bodies...a mystery on its own. An excellent publication
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on 31 December 2013
Books on history can lie anywhere in the range from a highly-polished publication by a professional historian to self-published research notes written by an enthusiast. This book lies closer to the latter end of the spectrum. The proof-reading is less than perfect and there are no contents, reference notes, bibliography or index. Worst of all, there are no illustrations. If you're not a rail enthusiast then the absence of an explanatory diagram will probably make the task of understanding a complex rail crash involving five trains rather difficult! And a map of the military action in Gallipoli would have been welcome.

The author has done a fair amount of work in researching the Quintinshill crash and gives an interesting account of events and individuals. Though detailed, the analysis of the crash is not as comprehensive as in the other recent book on the subject, "Britain's Worst Rail Disaster: The Shocking Story of Quintinshill, 1915" by Jack Richards and Adrian Searle.

The account of the 7th Royal Scots in Gallipoli is highly readable, but comprises only a few dozen pages at the end of the book and is too brief to do justice to its subject. Furthermore, the author is not a military historian and seems to rely quite a lot on the seminal work "The Royal Scots, 1914-1919" written by Major John Ewing in 1925.

So, why would anyone buy this book? Well, if you had an ancestor in the 7th Royal Scots during WW1 and want to find a readable overview of events affecting the battalion in 1915 without getting too bogged down in military detail then this book will be interesting and quite informative. It is inexpensive and is very clearly printed.

Finally, if you buy the book, I'd recommend having a look at the animated diagram in the Wikipedia article entitled "Quintinshill rail disaster". This shows the sequence of events leading up to the rail crash. The details may not be 100% accurate, but the animated diagram helps to understand what happened at Quintinshill.
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on 6 February 2014
A well written book on this Edinburgh Battalion, full of brillant details and imformation, I would strongly reccommend this book for anyone interested in Scottish Military and in particular the Royal Scots.
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on 9 January 2014
Very readable account of the tragedy that befel these poor men and officers. Have read the Quintinshill Conspiracy book and this filled in more personal details. Very interesting
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on 5 May 2015
Well written account of the Quintinshill Rail Disaster. I purchased this book when researching family history & discovering my Great Uncle died in this disaster on the way to serve in Gallipoli. It was a very factual and harrowing read, and I recommend it.
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on 1 August 2014
Lots of books have been written about the disaster. This one is different and although the author quotes the unknown quotes, it does make a good story and does not take anything away from the horror of this disaster.
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on 25 November 2013
The report on the Train Crash is fair-enough. But Reference as regards the remnant of the (Composite) 7th Royal Scots in the Battle of Gully Ravine, Gallipoli, 28th June 1915, is very flawed. Omitting to mention the slaughter on the front line, to their immediate right, on that day, of the Cameronians to a man. Nor of the 5th Royal Scots,their sister Battalion, who were then pressed into this gap and fared little better than the Cameronians. The 5th Royal Scots had been in Gallipoli, since the first Landings, 6th April 1915. And by the time the 7th Arrived, circa 16 June 1915 had been cut down from 1100 men, to 289, killed or serious casualties. The 7th were part of the large force of reinforcements that Kitchener sent out. The 5th RS, were glad to see them,and for the first time in many, many weeks, were rested into the back lines. But this lasted only a few days, before they were ordered back up to the front - into the hot spot,to the right of the 7th. My only gripe with the Author, is that he should have known that, and if he did, it was very discourteous not to mention it. And worse still, to make references from General Ian Hamilton, and the War Office, which had referred to the 5th RS in earlier Battles on Cape Helles. Not to the 7th RS, who were not even there at the time. When they were commended and referred to as Terriers. For many years, I have, taken the view, no disrespect intended, That the terrible 'train crash' was used to divert attention away from the National Disgrace of the 28th th June 1915. No war memorial solely directed to this slaughter of Edinburgh 'boy soldiers, and Territorials', killed/slaughtered in the Galipoli Battlefields' raised in Edinburgh to this day. As I say, no disrespect to the Memorial to the train crash victims, who never reached or fought in Gallipoli. Hope the Author adjusts this in his Book. How do I know, my Grandfather, was one of the 5th RS killed in the Batle of Gully Ravine, 28th June 1915. And I have stood at his well kept grave in '12 Tree Copse Cemetery, at Cape Helles. And shook my head, as I looked up the lines, and lines, of all too many young Edinburgh, and Leith boy soldiers, Territorials mainly, there. Their Drill Halls were only a couple of miles apart. Has anything changed on the modern Battle Fronts today, who knows, Alex Lawson.
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on 2 November 2014
Great book, portraying a powerful and emotional true tragic time in Scottish history
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on 7 October 2014
Very good read
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