Last Train to Waverley

Written by Malcolm Archibald
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

Douglas Ramsay is a young officer, experienced in the carnage of the Great War, who is assigned to the 20th Royal Scots Guards. Almost immediately he is thrown with his small group of men into the depths of violence… and Ramsay fears he will meet his doom from his past. He and his handful of men find themselves trapped behind enemy lines as the German war machine thrusts deeper into British-held territory. With his rag-rag group of men low on ammunition, food and morale, Ramsay becomes determined to lead them back to safety, despite knowing that one of them has the power to destroy him utterly. Moving from peaceful Scotland to the mud, blood and horror of the Western Front, the author manages to capture the reader’s attention and hold it as the story of Douglas Ramsay and his irreversible change in personality caused by the Great War, the constant terror, noise and suffering. We see Ramsay face up to his younger self and, despising what he sees, come through to accept the past, his own past, with determination and closure.