In the autumn/winter of 1296, William Wallace led a band of mainly Irish mercenaries against English forces in Perthshire. Fighting from hideouts in the vast forests, the clashes were savage, bitter affairs and he certainly achieved some degree of success, assassinating several high ranking English officials, taking and destroying English held fortifications and carrying out many successful ambushes. However, over time, the vastly overwhelming English forces in the region combined to locate, pursue and finally crush his small unit. Wallace’s losses were high and he barely escaped with his own life after being sorely wounded with an arrow in the throat. But valuable lessons in the art of guerrilla warfare had been learned and news of his bravery and his incredible exploits had inspired the oppressed Scottish public.