WALK FOR WILLIAM WALLACE 2005

David R. Ross, convenor of the Society of William Wallace, commemorated the memory of Wallace, by walking from Robroyston near Glasgow, to London, on the 700th anniversary of Wallace's execution. Wallace was captured on the 3rd of August 1305, and arrived in London on the 22nd of that month, the journey taking 19 days. On the 23rd, he was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the current Houses of Parliament, where his sham trial took place. Therefore the same dates in 2005 mark the 700th anniversary. Although David undertook the walk to London alone, there were many hundreds of people waiting to join him on the final part of the journey. There was no need to stress the solemnity of the occasion, and what it all meant to everyone there commemorating their national hero, to walk the actual route that was the final chapter of his life. Everyone that took part showed their bond with Wallace, and it showed that they stand with him in their desire for freedom for themselves and their fellow countrymen and women.

He died alone, thinking his cause was lost. We all showed him that he is remembered with honour and will never be forgotten. It was a very different story 700 years ago though, where the crowds were so great, so eager to see this Scottish "murderer", that he had to be kept the night in a house in Fenchurch Street. The next morning he was taken to Westminster Hall, the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament, where his sham trial took place. He was allowed no defence, but he managed to shout above his accusers that he was "A Scot, born in Scotland, and did not recognise England as his sovereign nation" He was tied to the tails of horses, and dragged through the streets of London for 6 miles, eventually arriving at Smithfield Elms. Here he was hung, then cut down while still alive. His stomach was opened and his entrails were pulled out and burnt before him. His heart was then ripped out, ending his life. His body was cut to pieces, his head stuck on a spike on old London Bridge.

The parts of his body were sent north to dishonour the Scots. Longshanks thought by giving him such an ignoble death that the Scots would forget Wallace, and there were religious connotations too. Wallace would have no body to rise on Judgement Day, and so be damned forever. But Sir William Wallace needs no tomb. His memory lives on in the heart and souls of Scots, every generation recognising his devotion to his native soil, and he will be remembered by Scots men and women till the end of time.

DAVID R ROSS AT ROBROYSTON BEFORE THE MARCH

David's own thoughts:
I will be leaving the monument to Wallace's capture at Robroyston in Glasgow at 8AM on August 3rd 2005. The route is some 450 miles, and I will arrive in London, at Westminster Hall where Wallace was tried, on 22nd August 2005. On the 23rd August, the 700th anniversary of Wallace's execution (a Tuesday) I will leave Westminster Hall at noon (Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament, and it was built in the late 1000s - it has not changed since Wallace's day) and walk the route that he was dragged through the streets of England's capital. If people wish to join me for this historic section of Wallace's last hours, then they are more than welcome.

The walk will end at the Church of St Bartholomew the Greater, the oldest church in London, and there will be a private, invitation-only commemoration of Wallace, very like a funeral service, starting there at 3pm. This will last about an hour and a half. As St Bartholomew's was the last thing Wallace saw (he was executed in front of this church) it is a fitting place to hold this event. It may have taken Scotland 700 years to hold a funeral service for the man, but we can ensure that after 7 centuries he knows he is not forgotten. There was no-one there for him on the day, and that is a situation that will be rectified in 2005. This will be the mourning that Wallace never had.

David talks to the media
David addresses the crowd at Rob Royston.
Ready for the off, only 450 miles to go
Gary looking splendid as ever.
Outside Westminster Hall, copyright © John Drysdale Johnston.
David R Ross chats to a policeman, copyright © Eddie Tait.
The Society flag at Westminster.
David takes time to take it all in.
A candle is lit for Wallace.
The Wallace Plaque.
David pours a dram.
Here's to William Wallace
Inside Westminster Hall.
Exiting Westminster Hall.
David takes time to chat to the media.
Waiting to start the march.
Westminster Hall starting the march, copyright © John Drysdale Johnston
A sea of Saltires, copyright © Eddie Tait
Approaching Aldgate, copyright © John Drysdale Johnston.
The Society banner at the Bank of England, copyright © Eddie Tait.
The crowd gathers for the speeches.
David speaks at the plaque, St Bartholomew's.
Clan-An-Drumma
The door of St Bartholomew's, from the gate, copyright © Morris Allan
The coffin reaches its destination.
Waiting for the ceremony to begin.
Ronnie Browne leads the singing of 'Flower of Scotland'
The queue to place tributes in the coffin, copyright © Eddie Tait
The coffin leaves the church.
The procession.
The marchers set a slow pace.
So many Saltires.
Ronnie Browne in the procession
The procession halted in the street on way to the Welsh Centre.
David begins the celebrations, copyright © Eddie Tait.
A great night ensued after so much hard work.
The coffin leaves the hall.
Mission Accomplished

The Society would like to thank everyone who contributed to this report, especially WALK FOR WALLACE - thanks everyone.
 


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The Society of William Wallace is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registration number SC045959