Communities across Scotland mark 100 years since First World War Armistice

People in Scotland have fallen silent in an act of remembrance to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Thousands of people in communities the length and breadth of the country observed a two-minute silence at 11am in recognition of the centenary of the Armistice and those who have served and lost their lives in conflict.

Many did so as they attended ceremonies, parades and services, others pausing for reflection in locations such as railway stations – echoing acts of remembrance taking place across the UK on this day of commemmorations globally.

Armistice Day
Armistice Day

Following the period of quiet observation, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid a wreath at a ceremony at the Stone of Remembrance outside the city chambers in Edinburgh.

She did so after 11 rounds were fired from Edinburgh Castle, with the guns then falling silent.

Of the 700,000 Scots who joined the forces, more than 100,000 died during the First World War.

Nearly every village, city and town in Scotland has some form of memorial displaying the names of their war dead.

As I lay a wreath of remembrance this morning, I will proudly wear this poppy, made for me by the veterans at the Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) November 11, 2018

Speaking ahed of the ceremony, Ms Sturgeon said: “Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for people in Scotland to join with others across the world to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in conflicts during the last century.

“It allows us a chance to honour the memory of those who gave their lives, while also paying tribute to our veterans and those who continue to serve today.

“This year of course has added poignancy as it marks 100 years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War.

“The laying of a wreath is a small but significant tribute, and I am privileged to be able to do so on behalf of the people of Scotland.”

More than 100 wreaths were being laid at the poignant service, organised by Legion Scotland and attended members of the Armed Forces, and representatives of the emergency services and faith organisations.

Armistice Day 2018
Armistice Day 2018

Later in the day, Ms Sturgeon and the Princess Royal will join around 1,000 people attending a national service at Glasgow Cathedral to mark the end of the Great War.

A two-minute silence was being observed at 11am at the cenotaph in Glasgow’s George Square, as it was at war memorials in communities large and small around the country.

Musicians and artists have also come together to commemorate the milestone.

Before sunrise, individual pipers at locations around the world, including a number in Scotland, performed Battle’s O’er, a traditional song played at the end of conflicts.

Six Scottish beaches are taking part in filmmaker Danny Boyle’s UK-wide event to mark the centenary.

Armistice Day
Armistice Day

St Ninian’s Isle beach in Shetland, West Sands in St Andrews, Scapa beach in Orkney, Ayr beach, Burghead Bay beach on the Moray Firth and Cula Bay beach on the isle of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides all have a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the conflict drawn in the sand before it is washed away by the incoming tide.

Boyle said: “Beaches are truly public spaces, where nobody rules other than the tide. They seem the perfect place to gather and say a final goodbye and thank you to those whose lives were taken or forever changed by the First World War.”

After dark, a special light and sound projection will take place at the Scottish Parliament, with the names of all those Scots who died during the conflict to be beamed on to the building.

It will take seven hours, from 5pm until midnight, for the names of each of the 134,712 men and women to be shown.

Beacons of fire will be lit at points around Scotland and the rest of the UK during Armistice Day in a National Trust project.

Buildings and landmarks across the country have also been showing their support for the Scottish Poppy Appeal by lighting up red in the week running up to, and including, Remembrance Day.