Edinburgh Castle drumhead service to mark outbreak of WW1

British soldiers newly arrived in France in 1914 The service is part of a series of events marking significant points in WW1

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More than 8,000 people from across Scotland are expected to a attend a drumhead service at Edinburgh Castle to mark the outbreak of World War One.

The event - using drums as an altar - heralds the start of the Scottish commemorations programme covering eight significant points in the conflict.

The cross-faith service on 10 August will be made up of politicians, military veterans and charity groups.

A Commonwealth-themed service will also be held in Glasgow on 4 August.

Start Quote

The drumhead service will be a very fitting start for the Scottish programme for remembering World War One”

End Quote Donald Wilson Lord Provost of Edinburgh

The drumhead service will replicate those held on the frontline 100 years ago where neatly piled drums were used in place of an altar.

Following the service, military bands will parade down the Royal Mile and the congregation will be invited to follow in a procession to a replica Commonwealth graveyard at Holyrood Park.

There will be more than 100 headstones to represent the names recorded in the Rolls of Honour at the Scottish National War Memorial.

Those gathered in the park will be invited to lay wreaths or markers to reflect the sacrifice made by so many.

Special significance

The eight events which will be highlighted in the commemorations all have a significant meaning for Scottish servicemen.

These include the start and end of the war, major battles including Jutland and Gallipoli as well as domestic incidents such as the Quintinshill rail disaster and the loss of HMY Iolaire.

The drumhead service and procession will follow events happening in Glasgow as part of the UK commemorations programme on 4 August, the 100th anniversary of the date Britain entered the war.

A Commonwealth-themed service at Glasgow Cathedral and a Cenotaph service will be held in the city on that date.

Service launch About 8,000 people will be invited to attend the service on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop confirmed the Edinburgh event during a visit to the Scottish National war Museum and said: "The First World War claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Scots and left many more injured or disabled, forcing families and communities across the country to come to terms with the devastating consequences.

"Throughout the centenary period we will encourage people of all ages across Scotland to recognise the significant and broad impact the First World War had on our nation and its people, and to reflect on its lasting social and civic legacy.

"The drumhead service, procession and memorial on 10 August will encourage today's Scots to commemorate those who lost their lives and to ask what we can learn from World War One."

The MSP's views were echoed by The Rt Hon Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Donald Wilson, who said: "Edinburgh already has a strong and proud tradition of recognising our military service personnel."

"I am determined that as a capital city we should continue to show our support and gratitude for the enormous sacrifices made by courageous men and women in service of this country."

He added: "The drumhead service will be a very fitting start for the Scottish programme for remembering World War One."

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