Scotland's War Poets

When thinking of the poetry of the First World War, names such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon will most likely be the first to spring to mind. But alongside these iconic literary figures there are a number Scottish poets and writers whose works, though perhaps less familiar, offer equally powerful and influential depictions of the conflict.

Hailing from different parts of the country and social backgrounds, these writers gave voice to the Scottish experiences of the Great War, their works sharing the perspectives of everyone touched by the conflict, from the solider in the trenches and the journalist in the field to the grieving loved one left behind at home. While many of these writers chose to express their wartime experiences in ways that are unmistakably Scottish, their works also testify to the all-encompassing repercussions of a war from which no one, irrespective of class, nationality and language, was spared.

John Buchan, the Scottish novelist, politician and author of the Thirty Nine Steps

John Buchan

Learn more about the works and the incredible life-story of John Buchan, the celebrated author of The Thirty-Nine Steps.

W.D. Cocker, the Scottish writer and journalist

W.D. Cocker

The Scottish writer W.D. Cocker is best-known for his humorous poems in Scots. But he also wrote some remarkable war poetry.

Lewis Grassic Gibbon, credit: The Grassic Gibbon Centre

Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Born in Aberdeenshire in 1901, Lewis Grassic Gibbon was the author of one of Scotland's best-loved novels, 'Sunset Song'

Violet Jacob by Henry Harris Brown © Angus Council Galleries and Museums

Violet Jacob

The high-born Violet Jacob wrote poems and novels in the rich dialect of her native Angus. Discover her poignant war poetry.

Joseph Lee, a former Black Watch soldier and journalist from Dundee

Joseph Lee

Learn about Joseph Lee, the Dundonian journalist and Black Watch soldier sometimes known as ‘Scotland’s forgotten war poet’.

Ewart Alan Mackintosh, a decorated Seaforth Highlander during the First World War.

Ewart Alan Mackintosh

Learn about Ewart Alan Mackintosh, the decorated Seaforth Highlander who wrote some of the finest poetry of the First World War.

Neil Munro, the Argyll-born novelist and journalist

Neil Munro

Neil Munro is best remembered for the hilarious adventures of Para Handy. But did you know he reported on the First World War?

Charles Sorley, a war poet and soldier in the Suffolk regiment during World War One.

Charles Sorley

The Scottish-born Charles Sorley is regarded by many as one of the finest if not the greatest poet of the First World War.

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