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1916 events remembered

Published: 4 Jan 2016 10:00

WW1 commemorative events in Orkney, Hoy and Edinburgh.

WWI commemorations in Scotland will continue in 2016 with events to mark the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme.

On Tuesday 31 May the Battle of Jutland will be commemorated in both Kirkwall, Orkney and Lyness, Hoy.

The Battle of Jutland was the only significant naval engagement of the First World War with over 100,000 sailors involved on 250 ships. More than 6,000 Royal Navy and 2,500 German sailors lost their lives.

On the evening of Thursday 30 June to the morning of Friday 1 July 2016 the Battle of the Somme will be commemorated by an overnight vigil in the Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.

The Battle of the Somme was the most devastating battle of the First World War, and many Scots were amongst those lost.

Through the Scottish Commemorations Panel, Ministers are liaising with Councils, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy and the Royal Scots Regimental Association on arrangements for each event. Further details on both events will be announced later in the year.

The events of 2016 follow a successful Commemorations Programme in 2015 which saw events take place in Gretna and Leith to mark the Quintinshill rail disaster, in Edinburgh and Stirling to mark Gallipoli, and in Dundee to mark the Battle of Loos. As part of the programme, the first of a series of seminars was held to give schoolchildren from all over Scotland an understanding of the significance of the First World War.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

"World War One had an enormous impact on Scotland, and on the world. With so many sent to fight, and so many lost, there can be no family in Scotland that was not touched by war – with huge sacrifices made by those who stayed at home, as well as those who fought.

"This year marks the centenary of both the Battle of Jutland – the only major naval engagement of the First World War – and the Battle of the Somme, the war's most devastating battle, and it is right that we remember these.

"2015 saw the busiest year so far of the commemorations programme, with events held all over Scotland, and many thousands of people paused to remember the sacrifices made a century ago. I was particularly pleased to see so many young people taking part in the commemorations, and in our special education event – because it is so important that the next generation understands the impact of war.

"In 2016 Scotland's five-year commemorations programme will continue, and we will continue to encourage people in all parts of Scotland to join with us to consider the impact of the First World War, which claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Scots and left many more injured or disabled.

"The First World War had a significant and broad impact on our nation. Through our national commemorations the people of Scotland will have opportunities to reflect on its lasting social and civic legacy."

Notes to editors

The Scottish Commemorations Programme will remember events from World War One that had a significant impact on Scotland. They include the start and end of the war, major battles including Gallipoli, Loos, Jutland and Arras and domestic incidents such as the Quintinshill rail disaster and the loss of HMY Iolaire.

The Scottish Commemorations Panel was appointed by Scottish Ministers in 2013 to recommend a preferred approach for Scotland's commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, and to oversee the delivery of the programme. The panel reports to Scottish Ministers.