Who were they?

In the wake of both armies trailed the camp followers. These were the men and women who kept both armies on the go: the cooks, blacksmiths, armourers, wagoners, clerks and others.

Many of the followers on the Scottish side may have been local. The English camp followers plodded alongside the massive baggage train; if all the wagons had been laid end to end, claims one account, the baggage train would have stretched 60 miles.

At Bannockburn

Bruce sent his camp followers, otherwise known as the 'smale folk' in Scots, out of the way during the battle, but some may have gathered to watch the action on the higher ground near St Ninian’s Kirk and the Borestone.

According to one Scottish source, on 24 June, when they saw that the English were in chaotic retreat, the 'smale folk' swarmed on to the battlefield, brandishing makeshift weapons, plundering bodies and looting the English baggage train.