A GROUP formed to commemorate the work and memory of political activist John Maclean will today hold an event to debut a song written to commemorate the anniversary of the John Maclean march of December 3, 1918.

The track, titled Freedom Train to Glasgow by John Maclean 100 group organizer Alan Smart, was recorded in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, and sent it to colleague Ian Patton, who lives in Alberta in Canada, for mastering.

Patton also completed a video for the track, colourising pictures from the original 1918 march as a backdrop to the song. The song will be performed at the Yes Bar.

However, Patton, 68, also revealed that his late father may have even marched with Maclean. Patton’s father, William, emigrated from Scotland in the 20s after serving in the First World War.

Unfortunately, with few details on his father’s life available to him, he has yet to ascertain whether his dad did join the march – although he does know that he had been a great admirer of the revolutionary socialist politician.

Patton told the National: “My dad was very secretive about his past and told the kids nothing. Everything I have was through my mother and it wasn’t much. A search on ancestry sort of confirmed a few things but the leads, if they were real in the first place, just dried up.

“All I can say is that he was a very well-educated socialist Scot who spoke fluent Gaelic and if he was in Glasgow at the time he’d have been there.”

The John Maclean 100, previously an online-based collective, held events late last year to mark the 100-year anniversary of the mass-gathering of 1918, which saw thousands take to the streets and march from the city to Pollokshaws in solidarity with Maclean after his release from prison.

More on the group can be found at www.johnmaclean100.scot.