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Ayr United at War
 
By Carmichael, Duncan
ISBN 1905021127
Paperback  230 pages
 
Published 29 March 2014
UK Price £12.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $19.95   Order from amazon.com

The centenary, in 2014, of the outbreak of the Great War was the prompt to complete this study of the social and playing impact on Ayr United - and the clubs in the family tree - of the Boer War, the Great War, the Second World War and Afghanistan. The stories of the Ayr FC club doctor stationed at a concentration camp in the Boer War and the old player who carried out a civilian commando raid in the same conflict are mixed with the humour in the account of the Provost of Ayr being the only person in the town who knew that the Boer War was over, but not bothering to tell anyone. The Great War brought local chaos with shortages and strikes in the town, and players killed or wounded in action. The film "Escape To Victory" has roots in a barely documented chapter of history from the Great War, including a key character destined to manage Ayr United. And why did Ayr Town Council urge the people not to celebrate VE Day? The tales of the soldier who preferred Afghanistan to Kilmarnock, and the arrival of a most illustrious visitor in that same theatre of war, bring the story up to date.

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