Brought up in Ballachulish in the late nineteenth century, Lachlan Grant went from humble origins to become a star graduate of the University of Edinburgh Medical School and could have had a glittering career in either ophthalmology or psychiatry. Instead, he opted for general practice and a return home to "his people" in the West Highlands, serving them for nearly half a century until his death in 1945.
In this fascinating book, Dr Roderick Macleod - himself the former GP in Ballachulish - pays tribute to his predecessor, and gives account of his role in the 1903-1904 quarries dispute, his contribution to the introduction of the Highlands and Islands Medical Service (precursor of the National Health Service), and his involvement in campaigns such as the Sea League and the Highlands land reform movement.
He also records Dr Grant's passionate concern for the Gaelic language and culture, his lifelong love and support of the game of shinty, and his friendships and associations with such eminent figures as Compton Mackenzie, John Lorne Campbell, Tom Johnston and Ramsay MacDonald. This book pays sincere and respectful homage to one of the most influential figures in the West Highlands of the early twentieth century.
FROM THE FOREWORD:
"... For much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Highlands - for reasons bound up with underdevelopment of the kind Lachlan Grant sought to combat - were an area which people of ability mostly left forever on completing their education. Grant was one of very few individuals to break with this pattern and, indeed, to do what he could to create circumstances intended to reverse depopulation by making the Highlands the prosperous, economically dynamic place that Lachlan Grant believed so passionately the Highlands could and ought to be. Grant merits our admiration. And Roderick Macleod, whose book so strongly makes that point, deserves our thanks."
- James Hunter, September 2013
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