Hundreds of people in Edinburgh and Leith remembered one of the biggest tragedies to hit their community today, as they held a service and parade to commemorate 100 years since 216 soldiers from the 1/7 (Leith) Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) were killed in the UK’s worst rail disaster at Quintinshill Siding, near Gretna.
At 6.49am on 22nd May 2015, a troop train carrying soldiers from the battalion, on their way to Gallipoli, one of the most famous campaigns of the First World War, collided head on with a local train at Quintinshill. One minute later, an express bound for Glasgow crashed into the wreckage. Over 500 people were killed or injured in the crash, including 12 civilian passengers and railway staff.
Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, who is the Patron of The Royal Scots Regimental Association, joined First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with over 700 local people, descendants, and former and serving members of Armed Forces at the mass military grave and memorial where the crash victims are buried in Rosebank Cemetery, Leith.
Hundreds more people turned out at nearby Pilrig Park to show their respect. The service was shown on a large screen.
Prior to the service, a military parade through Leith took place, with troops parading along the route taken by the funeral procession 100 years ago.
The weekend of centenary commemorations will conclude tomorrow, Sunday 24th May, with a service at Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk.