Monday, 6 October 2014

WW1 anniversary event at Usher Hall

28th November is a date for your diaries for a significant anniversary event commemorating a part Edinburgh played in the World War One.

On Friday 27 November 1914 a grand public meeting was held in the Usher Hall to inaugurate Lieutenant Colonel Sir George McCrae’s new Active Service battalion of the Royal Scots. By midnight three hundred volunteers had stepped forward among them thirteen players from Heart of Midlothian Football Club and fellow professionals from Raith Rovers, Falkirk, Hibernian, Dunfermline and East Fife. Sportsmen and supporters from countless other fields joined them and within five days the roll was full. Scotland’s sporting battalion went on to win undying fame on the killing fields of the Western Front, carrying Edinburgh’s name with pride and distinction, but at a terrible cost. More than a thousand officers and other ranks perished in the war. Many of them including most of the Hearts players have no known grave.

On Friday 28 November 2014, exactly one hundred years to the night, the City of Edinburgh will remember McCrae’s Battalion with an evening of music, drama, song and contemporary images. The distinguished actor Ken Stott has kindly offered his services as narrator and will lead the audience through the history of the battalion. All profits will be divided between the military charities, Help for Heroes and Poppy Scotland.
The driving force behind the McCrae's Battalion Trust is author Jack Alexander (local to this Southside/Newington parish).  This blog has reported on his sterling work on several previous occasions.

There is also a commemoration of the raising of the 16th Royal Scots Battalion (McCrae's) at St Cuthbert's Church at 12:45 on Thursday 27th November.  Details here.

Read the book:  McCrae's Battalion.
 Updated 061014 to correct mistyped date 

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