The Hoarse Oaths of Fife re-fights in novel form the Battle of Loos, 25th September, 1915, surpassed by far every previous slaughter of Scottish fighting men. The German machine guns reaped them in swathes - the Highland Light Infantry at Mad Point, the Seaforths at Fosse 8, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Cuinchy brick stacks. The flower of Scotland's infantry did reach their objective, the coal-mining village of Loos, with Piper Laidlaw standing on his parapet to urge them on. But they went too far and lost direction and ended up like all the rest, heaped in dead mounds. At the northernmost point of the British line, the Fourth Black Watch stormed across No Man's Land with the Punjabi Muslims of the Vaughan's Rifles behind them. Their share of glory was a private massacre all to themselves, a fate brought to life in tragic detail through the experience of Kenny Roberts, Great War veteran, who through his profane reverence for his native soil is destined to become a clarion voice in Scottish fiction.