Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Tributes paid to historian who honoured William Wallace

David Ross before setting off
David Ross organised the Walk for Wallace in August 2005

A historian famed for marking the 700th anniversary of the death of William Wallace by marching the route of his journey to execution has died.

David Ross, 51, a writer and convenor of the Society of William Wallace suffered a heart attack at his home in East Kilbride on Saturday.

He was known as the "biker historian" as he visited historic sites across Scotland on his motorcycle.

First Minister Alex Salmond is among those who have paid tribute to Mr Ross.

A message on the historian's official website said "Scotland has lost one of her finest sons."

It added: "He was a giant of a man in so many more ways than his physical stature.

"No man loved his country more and he made sure everybody knew it with an incredible passion for both its history and its future."

David Ross was a tremendous enthusiast for all things Scottish, and in particular for the memory of William Wallace
Alex Salmond MSP
First Minister

Mr Ross released his first book, called On the Trail of William Wallace, in 1999.

He went on to write other books about Robert the Bruce, James "The Black Douglas" and other Scottish heroes.

In August 2005 the historian organised and completed the Walk for Wallace, in which he walked 450 miles from the spot where Wallace was captured in 1305 to his place of execution in London.

He then held a funeral service for Wallace, attended by hundreds of Scots and later wrote a book "For Freedom!", charting the last month of Wallace's life.

'Memorable occasion'

Mr Salmond said: "David Ross was a tremendous enthusiast for all things Scottish, and in particular for the memory of William Wallace.

"Among David's outstanding contributions to the wider understanding of Scotland's history was his leadership of the commemorative march to London in 2005.

"Those of us who attended and contributed to the service at St Bartholomew's at Smithfield in London experienced an occasion as memorable as a state funeral and as moving as a personal testament."

Mr Ross is survived by his daughter Kimberley, 22.

His funeral is due to be held at South Lanarkshire Crematorium on Monday.



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SEE ALSO
Service remembers William Wallace
23 Aug 05 |  Scotland
Walk marks execution of Wallace
03 Aug 05 |  Scotland

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