Meet the author event with Bob Mitchell @Dunbar Library

  • Dunbar Library Bleachingfield Centre Dunbar United Kingdom


The Cranston family was torn apart by World War I. Of the seven sons who fought, four died and two more were horrifically wounded. Only one son, the youngest, came home unscathed. This book is a touching portrait of the sacrifice and heartbreak of their mother Lizzie, and the tragic courage of her last surviving boys. Follow the journey of how a once proud and inspirational Scottish family were devastated by war and how the effects rippled through time and generations. A century later, the tartan threads of this resilient family finally begin to draw together again.

Come listen to the co-author Bob Mitchell discuss his remarkable book, Blood on the Thistle. 

Blood on the Thistle 

Blood on the Thistle is the examination of the life and times of a remarkable Scottish family, the Cranstons of Haddington, East Lothian. It focuses on a period from about 1880, when the young, hard-working parents, Alec and Lizzy Cranston, arrived in Haddington, through to 1920, when the family they had produced had been torn apart by the effects of the Great War and broke up as its surviving members pursued seperate lives around the globe. Out of seven sons who served in the First World War, four died and two more were horrifically wounded; only one, the youngest, returned home physically unscathed. This book explores the effects of this extreme sacrifice on the sons themselves as well as the loved ones they left behind, especially their mother Lizzie, who mourned them for the rest of her days.

Press about Blood on the Thistle 

www.express.co.uk/news/world-war-1/482595/New-book-tells-tale-of-mother-who-lost-four-sons-in-First-World-War

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2622532/Story-Scottish-mothers-struggle-losing-four-sons-WW1-turned-book-published-coincide-familys-international-reunion.html

Bob Mitchell (Co-author)

Bob Mitchell trained as a psychiatric nurse in the late 1960s, and is now retired from his position as Senior Lecturer (Mental Health) at Napier University, Edinburgh. He is passionate about local and Scottish history, as well as being a regular performer of the works of Robert Burns. He writes both rhyme and prose, and has performed in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.



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