Commemoration and remembrance

The end of the war was marked by relief but also by great sadness - few families escaped the loss of a father, son, brother, husband, boyfriend, neighbour or friend.

The exact number of Scottish war dead will probably never be known. The official figure was initially 74,000 but others argue the dead numbered 100,000.

Later, a higher figure of almost 150,000 was calculated by including Scots from around the world 'killed in the service of the crown’ - the problem with this was whether to count a Scot killed while serving in the Australian forces as a Scottish or Australian casualty.

Further difficulties arise when trying to calculate those who died as a result of wounds received in the war, or because of their experiences. Scotland’s casualty rate of 26 per cent of its fighting forces was among the highest. In the years that followed, towns and villages across Scotland built memorials to remember their losses in the Great War.

Scotland's Great War memorials

For those whose loved ones were never found, or lie in foreign fields, the Imperial War Graves Commission created and cared for military cemeteries around the world. Over 600 of these cemeteries were placed near the line of the old Western Front in France and Belgium and they became places of pilgrimage for Scottish families after the war.

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