First World War Centenary

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  • The Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle
    The Scottish National War Memorial commemorates the sacrifice of Scots in the First World War
  • The National War Musuem, Edinburgh Castle
    The National War Museum, Edinburgh Castle
  • The exhibits on display at the National War Museum at Edinburgh Castle
    Next of Kin at the National War Museum - the first in a trilogy of commemorative exhibitions by National Museums Scotland
  • The Cenotaph at Glasgow City Chambers in George Square
    The Cenotaph at Glasgow City Chambers in George Square
  • Wild poppies in a field by North Berwick, East Lothian
    Learn the story of how the poppy became a world-wide symbol of remembrance at the National War Museum in 2018

From 10 August 2014 and throughout the following five years, events will be held across Scotland to mark the centenary of the First World War, a conflict which claimed many thousands of lives and changed the face of Scotland forever.

On 4 August, the day following the Closing Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow will host the United Kingdom's First World War Centenary service for leaders of the Commonwealth. The service will take place at Glasgow Cathedral and will be followed by a wreath laying service at the city’s Cenotaph.

Scotland began its five-year commemoration on 10 August with a Drumhead Service – an improvised church service held on the front line during combat – at Edinburgh Castle with neatly piled drums draped in flags used in place of a religious altar. Following the service, military bands paraded down the Royal Mile to a replica Commonwealth graveyard at Holyrood Park where more than 100 headstones have been erected to represent the names recorded in the Rolls of Honour at the Scottish National War Memorial.

As well as the outbreak of war and Armistice Day, the commemoration will also observe the anniversaries of battles including Gallipoli, Loos, Jutland and Arras which have particular significance for Scotland, and other key dates including domestic tragedies such as the sinking of the HMS Iolaire and the Quintinshill rail disaster.

Learn more about the Scottish experience of the First World War at three landmark exhibitions staged in Edinburgh over the commemorative period. This first of these is Next of Kin which was unveiled at the National War Museum in April and will stay there until March 2015 before embarking on a national tour.

This will be followed by Common Cause: Commonwealth Scots and the Great War from 11 July – 12 October 2014 at the National Museum of Scotland which will explore the impact of the conflict upon the Scottish diaspora.

The National War Museum will host the last in this series of commemorative exhibitions to mark the centenary of the end of the war in 2018. Entitled Poppies, it will reveal the remarkable story of how Canadian Scot John MacRae’s 1915 poem In Flanders Field led to this delicate crimson wildflower becoming a world-wide symbol of remembrance.

Alongside these official observance dates and major exhibitions, communities, attractions, festivals and organisations across the country will be holding their own special commemorative events, each offering their own unique perspective and memories of the Great War. 

Take a look at the event listings below and find out what’s happening in your area.

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42 results, currently showing 1 to 10
  1. Gradings

    Aberdeen

    An exciting Franco-Scottish collaboration of two ensembles and composers from France and Scotland.

    Dates

    24 Oct 2014
  2. Gradings

    Edinburgh

    The development of chemical warfare during WWI.

    Dates

    10 Nov 2014 to 15 Nov 2014
  3. Gradings

    Anstruther

    Exploring the effects WWI had on Scotland's fishing communities.

    Dates

    28 Jun 2014 to 26 Oct 2014
  4. Not About Heroes

    Type

    Theatre Event

    Gradings

    The Scottish Borders

    The unforgettable story of two of the finest 'Great War' poets, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

    Dates

    25 Oct 2014
  5. 1914: The Calm Before The Storm

    Type

    Arts & Cultural

    Gradings

    Kirkwall

    A war-themed exhibition.

    Dates

    1 Jun 2014 to 21 Oct 2014
  6. Remembering The Great War

    Type

    Arts & Cultural

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    Photographs, paintings and drawings marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

    Dates

    4 Aug 2014 to 5 Jul 2015
  7. Not About Heroes

    Type

    Theatre Event

    Gradings

    Ayr

    The unforgettable story of two of the finest 'Great War' poets, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.

    Dates

    28 Oct 2014
  8. St Andrews And The Great War

    Type

    Sport & Leisure

    Gradings

    The Kingdom of Fife

    Learn how the people and organisations of St Andrews contributed to the war effort.

    Dates

    31 May 2014 to 28 Sep 2014
  9. Regeneration

    Type

    Theatre Event

    Gradings

    Edinburgh

    A dramatisation of Pat Barker's novel.

    Dates

    30 Sep 2014 to 4 Oct 2014
  10. Not About Heroes

    Type

    Theatre Event

    Gradings

    Stirling

    A moving tribute to two of the outstanding poets of the Great War, Owen and Sassoon.

    Dates

    29 Oct 2014
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