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In August 2007, to mark the 90th anniversary of the battle of Passchendaele, a memorial was unveiled at Frezenberg Hill near Zonnebeke, Flanders. Hewn from solid Scottish granite the impressive Celtic cross was raised by public subscription in memory Scots and those of Scots descent who lost their lives in the battle of Passchendaele. The monument has since become a popular magnet for pilgrims to the war graves in Belgium.
Ten years on, crowds gathered for the 100th Anniversary of the Scottish advance on Passchendaele ridge. Once again, the general public, as well as a range of organisations in Flanders, Scotland and beyond, supported an initiative to further preserve the memory of soldiers who never came home. Soldiers from all walks of life, who answered the nation’s call and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Posted on behalf of University of Glasgow alumnus Tom Green
The Scottish Memorial in Flanders, Belgium was erected in August 2007 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele. The monument is located close to the village of Zonnebeke and Ieper/Ypres, the town made famous by its location in the Ypres Salient where so much fighting took place during World War One. The monument is sited where the 15th (Scottish) Division stormed and captured ground held by the German army during the Battle of Passchendaele on 31 July 1917. The monument was unveiled in August 2007 during a high profile ceremony and plans are now in place to complete the Memorial Park as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the battle in August 2017. View images from the unveiling of the 2007 Memorial here and find out more about forthcoming commemorations through 2018 from the Passchendaele Memorial Museum website.
By Kirsty Nicholson, Roll of Honour Student Editor and student in History at the University of Glasgow
Throughout the course of the First World War centenary, the University of Glasgow is researching and remembering the death of each individual on the Roll of Honour. Creating a biography for each person on the online Roll of Honour is a tremendously important endeavour, and not just for fellow historians. I think the task is important because in doing so, everybody on the memorial becomes a real person, with a personality, instead of just a name recorded forever but barely known. By taking the time to uncover information, even just about their (often) short time at the university, those who died in the terrible conflict become more recognisable, and thus easier to relate to. To me this is so important because as time goes on, the history of the First World War becomes more of a distant memory. It is already passing out of living memory and feels firmly in the past – events to be studied by future generations. As time passes, the world that the individuals on the Roll of Honour lived in will become less and less familiar. By creating online biographies that are easily accessible to anybody, hopefully some of the familiarity can be retained. In years to come, when somebody from the class of 2115 studies the Great War, hopefully they can look upon these biographies, and smile to find out that one particular soldier studied the same subject or perhaps lived on the same street as them. By finding familiarities and common connections with the people that came before us, we find it easier to engage with them. Hopefully, then, that student from 2115 will be impassioned to learn more about the Great War, and the fate of that soldier and his battalion, because of a personal cord that was struck when he realised the soldier would have lived next door to him. Maybe then he will go on to question why that soldier was involved in the war, and why that war even happened in the first place.
Blog posted on behalf of Club 21 placement volunteer Karen Oakley:
Given the scale of the loss during World War One, public attention in Britain turned increasingly to dedicating memorials as a mark of respect to the thousands who had perished. In the following years, memorials began being constructed into the country’s landscape: from the Cenotaph in London to community-centred memorials such as in Dunvegan on Skye.
No sooner had the war finished than members of the Pìobaireachd Society began discussing appropriate ways to honour pipers who had served and fallen.
The Society, being strongly linked to the Army, began by making dedications to high-ranking officers. A salute was dedicated to Field Marshal Earl Haig, for example which he acknowledged in the letter below.
On Monday, 4 August the UK commemorated the centenary of its entry into the First World War. With the close of the Commonwealth Games just a day before, Glasgow became the locus of Commonwealth centenary commemoration. Following a memorial service in Glasgow Cathedral, officials, members of the armed forces, and dignitaries from around the Commonwealth attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the city’s cenotaph in George Square and a reception in City Chambers.