Saturday night in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, used to be a time and place best avoided by reputable Glaswegians. This was the arena of the drunken, frequently vicious street brawls which heaped disrepute on the city.
What was slightly unusual in an affray on OCTOBER 31st, 1965, was that one man died. What was even more unusual was that two young nurses with no thought for their own safety ran to his aid, causing his assailants to flee.
William Pater, 22, was the victim. He was set upon by six youths wielding their boots, an iron bar and a knife. The brawl was the culmination of a series of disputes between families in the Barnhill area.
Five youths were convicted of Mr. Paters murder; the sixth was acquitted after the jurys Not Proven verdict. Two of them, John McArdle, 19, and Patrick Donnelly, 20, were sentenced to life. The other three, who were all under age at the time of the murder, were sentenced to be detained indefinitely. All the youths served between eight and 10 years in prison.
The trial judge asked that the two young nurses be officially rewarded for their bravery. There would be less crime in Glasgow, he said, if more citizens behaved as well as they did.