Scotland’s First World War

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The First World War was the largest and deadliest war the world had ever seen. A century on, it can be difficult to understand the enormity of the conflict which tore Europe apart. This compelling book tells the story of the First World War through Scotland’s people and places. It explores the buildings where, one hundred years ago, men and women enlisted, where they trained, where they stood up for their rights, and where they defended their country against the enemy. It also looks at the places where major industries emerged to supply the war effort, where men recovered from their wounds before returning to the front, and where some of them were finally laid to rest. Illustrated with forgotten and previously unpublished wartime plans, historical imagery and specially-commissioned modern photography, this book is one of the first to focus on Scotland’s home front as a whole – from coast and air defences to hospitals and prisoner of war camps. Using new research, the book covers the well-known sites of Scapa Flow and the Forth Defences, but also highlights some of the lesser known aspects, including inland defences and the Edinburgh invasion plans. There are no longer any living men or women who played a part in the First World War, and there are very few people remaining who were alive at the time who remember the conflict. It has now passed from personal experience into the pages of history. Yet there is also a physical legacy of the Great War that can still be found in Scotland – often faded by time and slowly being reclaimed by nature. Scotland’s First World War uses the remains of our century-old architecture – along with letters, diaries and poems – to tell an untold story of the role our nation played in one of the most devastating conflicts in human history.