This is the story of Private Daniel Murray of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders during World War I. It starts with a visit to the war graves in Ieper/Ypres to see firsthand the battlefields and cemeteries of WWI. The story then traces the author’s great uncle’s early life in the streets of Glasgow through his childhood and family life until he joined the army in 1908.
The story then captures army life in World War I including friendship, love and loss during the war.
The book ends with the death of Private Murray and the effects on his family.
Whilst researching this book, I found that the war grave commission records were not entirely accurate and misleading!
Comments from Readers:
“An emotional journey—superb!”
“A heartwarming story of family and army life during the Great War.”
“The book is filled with passion, friendship and love. I never appreciated what they went through for us.”
“A fitting tribute to an “ordinary private” full of raw emotion and passion.”
“This is a journey of discovery and remembrance lovingly told with humour and pathos.”
Part 14 Epilogue
I started this book in January 2004 and have shed many tears in writing it whilst recalling the memories of my visit to Belgium and the War Graves. I pray that none of our children will ever experience anything like Danny and his comrades. Most of us focus ( and rightly so) on the present and the future but if you have some spare moments think back to your loved ones who are no longer with us and for what they have done for you and your children and children’s children.
I feel (or want to feel) that there is part of Danny inside me and that he lives on through my children and I. I am very proud to have been given his name and ensure he is remembered.
Danny paid a heavy price, most of his life he was at war fighting for this country and died in horrific conditions. I am very sure that Danny and his comrades, who served in this war, were all HEROES and deserve to be remembered as such, perhaps not just by our Government and our country but also each one of us.
I hope to carry out my final visit to Ypres and the Ploeg Steert Memorial in 2018 on the 100th anniversary and see once again this special place which now rests in my heart.
When I started trying to find out about my Great Uncle Daniel Murray I found that all records show him as a member of the Black Watch and these records show he died as a Black Watch Soldier. From what I have found from the War Records I now know this to be is incorrect. Private Daniel Murray was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders until the last month of his life. The War Records have confirmed it was only in July 1918 that Danny and his small section were transferred to the Black Watch, from their Argyll and Sutherland Highlander’s section. This was due to his unit being reduced to a small cadre (low number of soldiers) following one of the battles when they experienced heavy casualties and many of the soldiers were captured by the Germans. I cannot trace why they were not moved to another Argyll and Sutherland Highlander’s section but the movement of soldiers to different Regiments was a common occurrence during this period of the War.
I would like to finish off thinking about Danny’s last few days and months of the war. I believe that he was a soldier of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and died showing NO FEAR fighting for his country.
Sans Peur My Brother
This is the debut novel for Daniel Blair. Originally born in Glasgow, he now lives with his wife and two children in Bristol. Having spent 30 years in the banking industry, he is now embarking on a career in writing.
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