Ian Niall

IAN NIALL (1916 – 2002) was the pen-name of John McNeillie, born in Old Kilpatrick on the banks of the Firth of Clyde. He published his first book, Wigtown Ploughman: Part of his Life, when he was twenty-two. Serialised in Glasgow’s Sunday Mail, the book caused controversy for its account of the impoverished lives of the cotters in the Machars of Wigtownshire. During the Second World War he worked at a tool factory in North Wales, where he later settled to live and went on to establish himself as one of the foremost nature writers of his generation. He contributed ‘A Countryman’s Notes’ to Country Life for many years and wrote over forty books, including The Poacher’s Handbook, Trout from the Hills, A Galloway Childhood and No Resting Place, which also became an acclaimed film directed by Paul Rotha. For his contribution to Scottish literature he was made a Doctor of Letters by Glasgow University.