WHILE we're never quite sure what President Trump may do on the US border, it might be helpful to have a Dunfermline man like John Norton, who was instrumental in the stopping the land of freedom's first attempt to invade Canada. 

Norton who was born in Dunfermline in the early 1760s, led a band of just 80 warriors against a thousand Americans who were trying to occupy the town of Queenston. 

Jack Pryde, of Discover Dunfermline Tours, said: "The almost unknown exploits of a Dunfermline man during the 1812 American and British War are the stuff of classic war hero stories. All the more by being true!

"I recall playing 'Cowboy & Indians' in and around Pittencrieff Park in my boyhood days. How unaware I was of the real-life Dunfermline born British Soldier!

"As he marshalled his Indian colleagues, despite the odds, he went on to save Canada from British domination at that time.

"Although John Norton is remembered in his home town by a street named after him (Norton Place), as a local history and tour guide, I will be researching and telling more of the story of John Norton."

John Norton features as a leading character in the historical novel, Flashman and Madison's War, by Robert Brightwell, available on Amazon or via print publisher Feedaread.com 

Norton's mother was a local girl called Anderson but his father had been born a Cherokee Indian who was captured when he was still a boy by the British army before the America War of Independence. 

His father was then kept as a young recruit and brought back to Scotland, where he must have done well, because the young John Norton had a good schooling before he too joined the army and ended up in Canada. 

With his mixed heritage, John gravitated towards the local Iroquois tribes and soon became an ambassador for them to the British, before being recognised as one of their chiefs. 

During the War of 1812, when President James Madison thought the British would be too distracted by fighting Napoleon they launched an attack via the Niagara river. 

It was the most unlikely character of John Norton that stopped them. 

The Americans had captured the town of Queenston and with more reinforcements they were ready to strengthen their foothold in Canada but what they hadn't realised was the Dunfermline man was in the vicinity with some very capable friends. 

The Iroquois warriors saw no sense in advancing in ranks over open ground like the British and instead they steadily approached through the trees until they were behind their enemy. 

They launched a surprise attack with much whooping and howling of war cries to disguise their low numbers, scaring half of the American forces who fled on their attack. 

Even though the Iroquois were still outnumbered five to one, Norton and his warriors were able to keep the Americans pinned down for several hours until more British and Canadian forces arrived to complete the victory. 

But what was next for Norton? This remarkable man made his way home to Dunfermline after the war with a young wife and a son from his previous marriage.

His detailed journals record that they both went to school in the town, possibly in the same establishment he had studied in as a boy. 

Later, Norton did return to Canada but after a series of adventures he headed south to visit his father's people and the last sighting of him was in what is now Mexico.