Over the past week I have been reviewing the 250 pages of Special Branch files on Samuel that were revealed through my FOI request. They present an extraordinary record of his desperate 18 year struggle to gain British naturalization, including harrowing details about his life that my grandmother never shared with the family. Thanks to the steely determination of just one man, a Mr J.D. Strathan who was the Procurator Fiscal in Glasgow, utterly determined to drive Samuel out of the country, he spent most of his life in Britain as an ‘alien’.
At last I know why he studied for so many years to become a Glasgow lawyer and ended up instead as a GP: without British citizenship his qualifications were useless, and J.D. Strathan was fully aware of this. His career as a Scottish lawyer was destroyed by this man before it had even begun.