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  #1  
Old 20-01-2014, 10:02
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Battle of Banockburn

On 23 and 24 June 1314, Robert the Bruce faced King Edward II at Bannockburn, near Stirling.

The Scots army was outnumbered almost three to one. Edward had more than 2000 battle-hardened knights to Bruce’s 500 horsemen. A mere 6000 Scots foot soldiers faced Edward’s force of 16,000 infantry.It was the first time since Falkirk that an English king had led his army in battle in Scotland. In 1298 Edward Longshanks had destroyed Wallace’s army. Now Edward’s son rode onto the battlefield.

Bruce had lost almost everything. His wife, daughter and sisters had been held captive in England for seven long years. Bruce had lost friends, allies and family during his campaign – his brothers, Neil, Thomas and Alexander, had been hanged, drawn and quartered. Now, finally, the Bruce was face-to-face with the English King.The Scots carefully chose their ground at Bannockburn. They used the natural terrain to counter the threat of Edward’s heavy cavalry and dug small pit traps or ‘pots’ to defend their flanks and force the English to fight them head on.

The first day of the battle was a Sunday and the Scots heard Mass before they took up arms. The Scots formed three massive schiltrons and held their ground at New Park. Bruce was mounted on a small horse - a ‘palfrey’ - and was armed with only a battle-axe.An English knight, Henry de Bohun, saw the Scots king and turned his war-horse to charge. De Bohun thundered across the field levelling his lance at Bruce. The Bruce stood his ground and waited till the English knight was almost upon him then stood up in his stirrups and brought his battle-axe crashing down on Henry, splitting his helm and his skull in two.

The next morning the Scots rose and prepared for battle. It was Midsummer Day, the Feast of St John the Baptist. The English had a dreadful night and morale was low. Disastrously, Edward ordered his men to cross the river to the east of New Park. The Scots knelt in prayer as Edward’s army tried to negotiate the boggy ground. The schiltrons formed and the Scots spearmen took their toll of the English cavalry.Bruce ordered the Scots to push forward and a forest of spears sent Edward’s army crashing back upon itself. At the Scots cry of ‘Lay on! Lay on! They fail!’ Bruce’s camp followers - the small folk of the baggage train - took up arms and charged to join the battle. The English took this as a new Scots force and panicked.

The weight of numbers of the massed ranks of English knights, infantry and Welsh longbow men proved fatal as mounted knights struggled to escape back across the river and fallen men were trampled underfoot. The Scots pushed Edward’s army back to the steep-sided Bannockburn until the river was filled with bodies.King Edward II fled the field. He escaped to Dunbar Castle and sailed to England. The Scots took English knights captive to trade for Scots prisoners. After his victory at Bannockburn the Bruce was able to negotiate the freedom of his wife Elizabeth, daughter Marjorie, and sister Mary.At the end of two bloody days of fighting thousands lay dead or dying on the battlefield. It was said that the ‘Bannockburn between its banks was so filled with men and horses that men could pass over dryshod upon the drowned bodies

Greater detail can be found in the link provided

http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/histor...f_bannockburn/

jainso31
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Old 21-01-2014, 08:47
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

An artist's impression of the Battle of Bannockburn and the anthem that sprang from it


bruce2-300x351.jpg




O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O'er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

jainso31

Last edited by jainso31 : 21-01-2014 at 08:53. Reason: addition
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  #3  
Old 21-01-2014, 09:23
Vegaskip's Avatar
Vegaskip Vegaskip is online now
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Excellent article, we used to have a wee poem learned un-officially at school.
In the Vernacular,

Bruce 'an D'boon
Foucht fur the Croon,
Bruce took his battle-axe
A'n Knocked the Bug*er doon

Jim
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:41
johnny07 johnny07 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Yes Jim, Flower of Scotland was penned by Roy Williamson of the Scottish folk group The Corries in 1967 and has since become our unofficial anthem.

A lot of people like it but many of us think it's a bit of a dirge.
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Old 21-01-2014, 12:56
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Thanks Johnny for your interest and comment re.Flowers of Scotland's origin.

For the Scots Bannockburn was a resounding victory. Bruce was left in total military control of Scotland, enabling him to transfer his campaign to the north of England.Politically Bruce had won Scotland's defacto independence and consolidated his kingship – as former supporters of Balliol quickly changed sides

In exchange for Bruce's noble captives Edward was forced to release Bruce's wife, daughter and the formidable Bishop Wishart, who had been held in English captivity since 1306. For the Scots soldiers there was the wealth of booty left in the English baggage train and the exhilaration of victory.

jainso31

Last edited by jainso31 : 21-01-2014 at 12:59. Reason: embolding
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Old 21-01-2014, 13:01
johnny07 johnny07 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Jim, I note you do not receive PMs so I will have to tell you here that I would not do justice to the battle having such little knowledge of it.
Your own excellent piece though has inspired me to learn more about it especially in this 300 year since the battle.

PS When the Scots want to have a friendly dig at us English they ask us
Where in Scotland will you find more Englishmen than Scotsmen.
Answer :- Banockburn.

I said friendly as up here the relations between the Scots and English is excellent.
The only friction you will find is between the people of the east coast and those from the west coast. They dont seem to like each other.
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Old 21-01-2014, 13:35
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harry.gibbon harry.gibbon is online now
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny07 View Post

Your own excellent piece though has inspired me to learn more about it especially in this 300 year since the battle.


..... me-thinks 700 years since the battle Johnny


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Old 21-01-2014, 13:49
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Yes -the 2014 is the septuacentennial anniversary of this famous battle-I shall follow this with the battle that saw "The Flooers o' the Forest aw wee'ed Awa"-Flodden Field near Berwick on Tweed

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Old 21-01-2014, 14:36
johnny07 johnny07 is offline
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Default Re: Battle of Banockburn

Quote:
Originally Posted by harry.gibbon View Post
..... me-thinks 700 years since the battle Johnny


Little h
Harry, What's 400 years between friends
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