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Labour of Love: The Story of Robert Smillie Paperback – 25 Sep 2011
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Robert Smillie was a real hero of the Scottish and British labour movement. I first heard about him when I was in my teens in Lanarkshire where he enjoys huge acclaim. He knew what poverty was like, he experienced the worst of mining conditions and evictions, he became a trusted leader and he was inspired by a strong sense of right and wrong. The country owes him a huge debt for the service he gave the labour movement and working people everywhere. This book recalls his achievements and his legacy. Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP --http://www.nwp.co.uk/9781906476618
After reading this book, I now know a tremendous amount of what Robert Smillie stood for: Justice, Equality, Humanitarism, Peace and Socialism. He cared for all people, not only those he represented. His dedication and effort changed society for the better, he sought no reward just a better society. The book has inspired me to greater effort to try and change society today. When Robert Smillie was in office the struggle to effect change was very much more difficult than now. His efforts made life much more bearable for future generations. I would recommend it to anyone interested in social history. Robert Smillie I salute you. David Hopper, General Secretary of the Durham Miners Association --http://www.socialist.net/labour-of-love-the-robert-smillie-story.htm
Robert Smillie is one of the forgotten heroes of the Scottish and British Labour Movement and it is fitting that his many achievements and legacy from which we have all benefited should be acknowledged. Labour Of Love does this in an accessible way so that he can be appreciated by a new generation. Eddy Cornock, Scottish Socialist Voice --http://www.scottishsocialistvoice.net/2011/11/a-forgotten-class-hero/3229
About the Author
Torquil Cowan is a retired headmaster with many publications to his credit - academic, fiction and non-fiction. He has also created two writers' groups and undertakes writing commissions regularly.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In LABOUR OF LOVE, as Robert Smillie lies dying in a hospital, he tells his life story to a journalist. And what a story he tells. It begins when he is but a boy in Belfast and both of his parents succumb to death. He and his brother James go to live with their Grandmother in poverty. At the age of 15 years, Robert Smillie becomes a coal miner. This singular event will be the catalyst that alters the history of Britain's Trade Union and Labour Movement. Robert Smillie was a hero to his family and to his Country.
And clearly, he was a hero to his Great Grandson, Mr. Blair Smillie, who writes in the preface:
"This remarkable tale, about an equally remarkable man, will entertain, educate, shock and amuse the reader who enters a bygone world far removed from that of today. His struggle, together with other great working-class men, helped to improve the lives of millions throughout this historic period and should never be forgotten."
For this reader, this book is particularly special. I had the pleasure of coming to know the author, Mr. Torquil Hamish Cowan, a gentleman of the utmost caliber, through numerous letters. Real letters sent on real paper, Mr. Cowan did not embrace the electronic age! Mr. Cowan breathed his last breath after completing this book, his very own, Labour of Love.