Following his reflections on commemorative events of 2017, Professor Norman Drummond CBE FRSE, Chair of the Scottish Commemorations Panel and WW100 Scotland, looks ahead through the 2018 programme.
Professor Norman Drummond CBE FRSE, Chair of the Scottish Commemorations Panel and WW100 Scotland, reflects on Scotland’s commemorative events of 2017.
As we commemorate the centenary of the death and funeral of Elsie Inglis, we also reflect on the remarkable accomplishments her brave and determined Scottish Women’s Hospitals (SWH) colleagues. In this post, Marsali Taylor shares the story of her Aunt Ysabel, who worked as an ambulance driver on the Romanian front.
A guest blog by Predrag Stefanovic
I am a Serb living in Scotland. Ask anyone in Serbia about Elsie Inglis and there is a very good chance they will be able to tell you something about this remarkable Scottish woman. So deeply ingrained is she into the fabric of Serbian history she holds the status of heroine and is known fondly as “our mother from Scotland”.
Amateur historian and landscape gardener Alan Cumming has been researching the story of Elsie and the Scottish Women’s Hospitals for four years. While attending a football match in Serbia where Elsie spent most of her war years and is affectionately known as the ‘Serbian mother from Scotland’, he saw a commemorative plaque and wanted to know more. Here, he shares some of his knowledge to tell Elsie’s remarkable story.
Over the last seven years, Ian McCracken, archivist at Govan High School in Glasgow, has dedicated his time to researching the lives of the 64 men named on the school’s war memorial. In a guest blog in April, he paid tribute to the seven who fell at Arras, and now, as the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele approaches, he remembers a further three former pupils.
On 22 May 1915, 216 men from the 1st/7th (Leith) Battalion of The Royal Scots were killed and a further 220 were injured when they were involved in a collision near Gretna as they made their way to Gallipoli to fight in World War One.
On Friday 7 April 2017, 72 history pupils representing each local authority in Scotland departed for France to participate in Scotland’s international Battle of Arras commemorations.
As we approach the end of the centenary of the Battle of Arras, we share the tragic story of Private Currie, who fought valiantly throughout the battle, but lost his life in the final days.
A visitor to some of the many Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in northern France might be surprised to find that there are a significant number of headstones which have the Royal Naval anchor inscribed upon them. In addition to sailors they will also find Royal Marines buried alongside. This is not an anomaly, for not only are there hundreds of such headstones scattered across a number of cemeteries, the Arras Memorial to the Forgotten which lists the names of those who have no graves, has no less than 692 of those belonging to the men of the Royal Naval Division.
As we commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Arras, it is important we share the stories of some of the brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice. Two of these men were Corporal John Connell and Lance Sergeant Ian Gowan.
Over the last seven years, Ian McCracken, archivist at Govan High School in Glasgow, has dedicated his time to researching the lives of the 64 men named on the school’s war memorial. Here, he pays tribute to the seven who fell at Arras, who will also be remembered at commemorations taking place in Scotland and France on Sunday 9 April.
Scotland’s role in the Battle of Arras continues to touch the nation’s heart as we prepare to commemorate thousands of war heroes for their bravery a century on.
A new video documenting the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB) Association’s commemorative trip to the Somme in October 2016 can now be viewed.
On the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme, we share the final instalment in our commemorative series of poignant poems, kindly provided by the Scottish Poetry Library. Predicting the coming waves of war tourism, poet J.E. Stewart indicates that the prospect of people visiting the battlefields feels too intrusive. But 100 years later, we do, and should, still visit the fields of battle in order never to forget what happened there.
The penultimate poem commemorating the Battle of the Somme provided by the Scottish Poetry Library describes that although the battlefields were a place of despair and death, wounded soldiers often had the desire to return.
The latest in our series of poems commemorating the Somme describes how weary soldiers would drag themselves to their living quarters after a spell at the front line.