News

History project honours war dead

An Edinburgh research initiative is to help mark the centenary of the First World War’s biggest naval battle.

Photo of local schoolchildren, Royal Navy veterans, and Queensferry & District Sea Cadets commemorating the Battle of Jutland
Local school children from South Queensferry High School join Royal Navy veterans and Queensferry & District Sea Cadets to mark 100 years since the Battle of Jutland, and launch the national commemorations for the First World War’s biggest naval battle. Photo credit: Smarts Communicate.

The Scotland’s War project will play a key role in the national commemorations of the Battle of Jutland, which took place on 31 May, 1916.

The project has been working with schools and community groups to honour those who lost their lives.

The initiative, led by historian Yvonne McEwen, has drawn up a Roll of Honour that will be presented during the commemorations. It has also engaged with school children from Germany who are travelling to Scotland to attend the memorial events.

A number of exhibitions and public talks have also been organised to share the stories of those that contributed to the war at sea.

More than 6,000 British sailors lost their lives during the naval battle, which took place off the coast of Jutland in Denmark.

National commemorations

The Scotland’s War events are part of the Scottish Government’s national World War One centenary commemorations.

The programme has been organised in collaboration with a number of partners. These include the Royal Navy, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Edinburgh Art Festival and the City of Edinburgh and Fife Councils.

Local school initiative

Scotland’s War has spent more than two years working with pupils from South Queensferry Community High. The project has researched and recorded the lives and stories behind then men buried in the Commonwealth War graves in South Queensferry.

The result is a Roll of Honour that will be presented during a commemorative service at the cemetery on Saturday, 28 May.

German pupils from Wilhemshaven, where the German Fleet were based, are also travelling to Scotland for the service.

We are delighted with the way the school children have engaged with the project, and are very pleased to welcome German pupils to join the commemorations. We believe this – along with the exhibitions and public talks taking place – will be a fitting legacy for those that lost their lives at the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago.

Yvonne McEwenDirector of the University of Edinburgh Scotland’s War Project

Events and exhibitions

A number of exhibitions will be held in the Priory Church, South Queensferry. Our War in Quilts will feature a number of quilted panels that illustrate Scotland’s role at home and abroad.

Paintings by Sir John Lavery RA, an official artist during the First World War, will be showcased at The War at Sea and the Art of War.

The displays will be accompanied by a number of films and illustrated talks that take place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 May.

Related links

Scotland’s War

The Centre for the Study of Modern Conflict

W100 Scotland