The death of Dr Elsie Inglis a hundred years ago will be commemorated on 26 and 29 November 2017 as part of the World War One commemorations planned for this year. First on 26 November there will be an Act of Remembrance at Dean Cemetery and then on 29 November there will be a Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles where a plaque already commemorates her work.
Dr Inglis set up the Scottish Women’s Hospital for wounded soldiers in France.
In addition the Third Battle of Ypres (or Passchendaele) will be remembered on 30 and 31 July 2017 with commemorations in Belgium attended by some Scottish ministers.
Scotland will remember the Battle of Arras in France on 9 April when school pupils from across Scotland will be funded to visit Arras. Two pupils from each local authority area will be chosen. It is hoped that the visits will encourage the pupils to learn about the battle and share that learning with others on their return.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:
“The Battle of Arras is of huge significance on Scotland’s commemorative calendar. The battle had the highest concentration of Scottish troops fighting in a single battle during World War One. It included 44 Scottish Battalions, and seven Scottish-named Canadian Battalions.
“The battle suffered 159,000 casualties, one third of whom were Scottish – a devastating impact for those back home, and it resonates to this day in our collective memory. I’m heartened our young people will join us on this commemoration – it will help future generations not to forget the horrors and grief associated with battle.
“Dr Elsie Inglis is celebrated for her tenacity as much as her contribution to the health and welfare of soldiers during the First World War. She met great opposition when she took other women doctors and nurses to France to establish a hospital, but the Scottish Women’s Hospital movement proved to be an unstoppable force.
“There are many aspects of the First World War that impacted on our nation and left an lasting social and civic legacy. Our national commemorations one hundred years on are evidence of this.” Norman Drummond, Chair of the Scottish Commemorations Panel, said:
“2017 will see centennial commemorations at Arras in France, Ypres in Belgium and in Edinburgh alongside a growing number of local and Regimental and Service Centenary Commemorations across Scotland.
“At each and every commemoration we are reminded of the thousands of those ‘who for our tomorrow gave their today’, and we as we approach 2018 Armistice we ask ourselves ‘What do we learn from all this?’”
Photo by Balfour, Lady Francis [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons