As Good as Any Man: Scotland's Black Tommy


The remarkable biography of one of Britain's first black soldiers of World War I, including artwork by the soldier

When the harrowing Great War diaries of one of Britain's first black soldiers were unearthed in a dusty Scottish attic nearly 100 years after they were written, they posed a bit of a mystery. The diary entries, which range from May 1917 until March 1918, were written by one Arthur Roberts while he served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB). They went into great detail about what it was like for him during World War I; such as how he survived the Battle of Passchendaele, and one incident where he escaped unscathed when a German shell killed a dozen men around him. Yet Arthur Roberts was an otherwise unknown man, and little else was known about him. Now, Morag Miller and Roy Laycock have painstakingly researched Roberts' life history and filled in the gaps. From his birth in Bristol to his life in Glasgow and time at the front, they provide here much more than just a war memoir, but the unique history of one man's remarkable life.