Person NameWood; Wendy (1892-1981); Scottish patriot
EpithetScottish patriot
ActivityWendy Wood nee Meacham, (1892-1981), Scottish patriot, was born on 29 October 1892, to Scottish parents, and brought up in South Africa. She was brought up to call Scotland home and to speak with a Scottish accent, as well as being told stories of Scottish nationalism. She studied art in London and, in later life, attended Glasgow School of Art and had a studio. Around 1916 she joined the Scottish League, in 1918 the Scottish Home Rule Association, in 1927 the Scottish National Movement and, from its formation in 1928, the Scottish National Party. She spoke on Scottish nationalism at a vast number of public meetings (73 in 1957 alone). In 1931 she started the Scottish Watch, an organisation to teach young Scots about Scottish history and culture, involving folklore, music, cookery and dancing. The Princes Street Gardens Scottish Country Dancing which takes place today originated in the Scottish Watch country dancing held there. Public demand was such that the Scottish Watch began dancing classes. In 1932 at the Annual Bannockburn Rally, Wendy Wood led a crowd into Stirling Castle to take down the union flag and to replace it with the lion rampant. In 1947 she personally arranged and funded a trip to the United States, where she attended public meetings in New York. She started the Scottish Patriots because she was dissatisfied with the Scottish National Party which focussed on elections and neglected Scottish Culture. The Scottish Patriots aims were to 'to maintain and strengthen the inherited sense of nationhood in Scotland; to develop the traditions and institutions through which the germ can express itself, and to adapt them to the needs of our time; to stimulate among Scottish people a willingness to take responsibility for their country's affairs which will lead to the revival of a distinctive Government and Parliament for Scotland; and to pursue these objects through education, public discussion, youth organisations, or any other proper means which may become available from time to time'. She was imprisoned in Duke Street prison, Glasgow, for refusing to pay her National Insurance following the removal of the National Insurance Board from Scotland to Newcastle, and in 1951 was sent to Holloway prison after being found guilty of inciting the crowds in Trafalgar Square, London, before an England v Scotland football match. In 1935 she stood for election to Edinburgh Town Council and in 1946 she stood for the parliamentary bye-election, for Bridgeton, Glasgow, as an independent Scottish Nationalist candidate. In 1972 she embarked upon a fast until a date was set for the establishment of the Scottish Assembly. She was prepared to fast until death but ended the fast on 13 December 1972. She died on 30 June 1981 aged 88. Wendy Wood wrote several literary works and her autobiography, 'Yours Sincerely for Scotland: The Autobiography of a Patriot' (London, 1970).
Add to My Items