This image is the cover for the book My Father a Scot, My Mother French

My Father a Scot, My Mother French

This book depicts the origins of two European families, (Scottish/Irish and French/Swiss) both affected by the Great War of 1914-1918 and the events that followed. It is not an autobiography, but it expresses what the author witnessed, his observations and his research results. It also explains how destiny provided him with a dual culture. It tells of the origins of his father’s family and his father’s experience as a soldier in the Highland Light Infantry, fighting at Gallipoli in 1915 and then after convalescence, serving in the Somme, France in 1917. The contents of his war album, compiled in hospital with photos, drawings, poetry and comments by his comrades and himself, appear in the annex of this book and are unique souvenirs. In 1921 his father settled in France as a textile engineer working for an American company based in Paris, covering installations in Europe and the Middle East. He met Jeanne in Nanterre, they married and raised the family there until 1938 before moving to Great Britain in anticipation of the German invasion of France that appeared inevitable. The family settled in Brighton and their life during the war period is described. The author’s elder brother, Douglas, joined the Royal Navy, partaking in the convoys to Russia and in the great sea battle leading to the sinking of the German cruiser, the Scharnhorst, on December 26, 1943. Many documents of great interest relating to the family of the author’s mother are also included, shedding light on the culture and life in France before and after the First World War. The cultural influence of his mother’s Swiss grandfather, trilingual and former tutor of the children of the Duke Heritor of Saxe Weimar at Heidelberg in Germany in 1862, is apparent in his archives. His mother’s brother, Édouard in the French army, was killed in battle in 1918. His moving letters from the trenches to his family are also displayed in the book, as well as other archives of all kinds.

Ian MacCabe

Ian MacCabe, born in France in 1934 of a Scottish father and a French mother, moved to England in 1938 with his family due to the impending German invasion. He worked in an insurance company and then took up accounting. He moved to France in 1958 and worked with British auditors before joining IBM European HQ in Paris and after eight years left to become a financial director in different international corporations. Upon retirement, he did research on his parents’ origins and their careers, making use of important family archives that he inherited in order to write this book. He is currently translating this book into French. He occasionally writes some poetry as an amusement. The beautiful hand drawn sketches that make up the cover were created by the author’s mother, Jeanne Gastal.

Austin Macauley Publishers