0131 550 1561 office@veteransscotland.org.uk

The Royal Scots Regimental Trust supports Leith WWI Service of Commemoration

The Royal Scots Regimental Trust is endorsing the centenary commemoration of the Armistice marking the end of the First World War by supporting the people of Leith who will gather for a Service of Commemoration. It is being held on Saturday 10th November 2018 at 2pm in Tower Place outside the Malmaison Hotel.

The commemoration also includes a restored coach of the type involved in the Gretna rail disaster of Saturday 22 May 1915.  This resulted in the death of 216 officers and men of the 7th (Leith) Battalion, The Royal Scots on their way to Gallipoli. Most were caused from fire which spread murderously quickly through the old wooden carriages lit by gas lamps fed from a tank underneath each carriage. It was a black day in the long history of Leith and, it was said, there was not a family in Leith untouched by the tragedy. Two days later, 101 coffins were carried in procession to be buried in a mass grave in Rosebank Cemetery on the boundary between Leith and Edinburgh. It was, and remains, the worst crash for fatalities in the history of railways in Britain.

The restored coach is being brought to Leith over the weekend from Friday 9th to Saturday 10th November and will be displayed and open to visitors in front of The Malmaison Hotel on The Shore from 10am to 4.00 pm each day.  The display will be backed up by photographs of Leith during WW1, The Royal Scots web-site and lectures on Leith’s War.

The Royal Scots web site has a new and unique online facility covering their WWI history.  It describes the scale, spread and sacrifice that was the Regiment’s contribution to World War I.  Details of the Gretna rail disaster can be accessed via the Trust’s website http://www.theroyalscots.co.uk/quintinshill-train-crash/

Colonel Martin Gibson said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response from across the world since making our Regimental Roll of Honour available online.  The aim of our project is to acknowledge the supreme sacrifices of all Royal Scots in the Great War lest the country forgets.  Particularly moving has been the contact made by descendants whom we regard to be very much part of our Regimental Family. We encourage anyone who may have additional archived material about fallen Royal Scots to get in touch through our website.  Our partners, the University of St. Andrews have been immensely helpful in support of this important project.  Visitors to the displays will be able to access the site and talk to Regimental historians who will be demonstrating it within The Malmaison Hotel. 

 

Programme:

  • A restored coach of the type involved in the Gretna train crash will be open to the public over the weekend 9-10 November from 10am to 4.00 pm each day.
  • A Service of Commemoration conducted by the Rev Iain May, Minister of South Leith Parish Church and attended by Frank Ross, Rt Hon. Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, who is the City’s Veterans champion.

Timing and location are as follows:

  • Friday 9th November
    • 10: 00 till 16:00 display of restored Gretna train disaster coach; Tower Place outside the Malmaison Hotel, The Shore, Leith. Living History actors will be in attendance for interview and photos. 
  • Saturday 10th November
    • 10: 00 till 16:00 display of restored Gretna train disaster coach; Tower Place outside the Malmaison Hotel, The Shore, Leith. Living History actors will be in attendance for interview and photos.
    • 14:00 Service of Commemoration; Tower Place outside the Malmaison Hotel, The Shore, Leith.

 

Explanatory Notes:

Website address:             http://www.theroyalscots.co.uk/

In 2006 The Royal Regiment of Scotland was formed from its predecessor Scottish Infantry Regiments; after 373 years of unbroken service The Royal Scots left the British Army’s order of battle.

The project has been developed in partnership with the Computer Science Department, University of St Andrews.  The project was also supported by the Scottish National War Memorial.

On 17th August 2018 a Roll of Honour was launched covering all Royal Scots who died in WWI.   Descendants of those men and other researchers are able to access the list, which is believed to be the first to be compiled on a regimental basis, via the Trust’s website.  For further information please contact the press office.

On 7th September an App was launched taking you on a tour of the Regimental Museum giving the history of the British Army’s senior Infantry regiment. From being raised in 1633 during the reign of Charles I through nearly four centuries The Royal Scots saw unbroken service throughout the world and in all major campaigns, including two World Wars, until joining with other Scottish regiments in 2006 to form The Royal Regiment of Scotland.  For further information please contact the press office.

Contacts:

Colonel Martin Gibson   07798 877073                                        Press Office  07768 812620