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A Drumhead Commemoration

An estimated 145,000 Scots lost their lives in WW1 and tonight, 100 years after the outbreak of that war, Sally Magnusson presents a special programme from Edinburgh Castle where, earlier in the day, a military drumhead service and parade took place to commemorate their sacrifice. The programme features selected highlights from this unique and moving event, plus contributions from two of Scotland's leading historians who explore Scotland's role in the war.

Musician Ricky Ross tells the story of the 4th Territorial Battalion of the Black Watch, which recruited uniquely from the jute and jam factories of his native city Dundee and suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Loos. Actress and comedian Elaine C Smith visits the site of a huge cordite factory, built just west of Gretna, which employed 11,000 women and 5,000 men in the production of artillery shells. Impressionist Rory Bremner, whose great-grandfather was a surgeon in the Crimean War, looks at the remarkable life of Charles McKerrow, a little-known Ayrshire doctor who heroically retrieved injured comrades from no-man's-land and whose techniques are still used today.

Author Andrew O'Hagan offers a personal tribute to the life and work of Aberdeen-born war poet Charles Hamilton Sorley who, like thousands of his countrymen, was killed in the battle of Loos. And fellow author Denise Mina, a former nurse, travels to Belgium to follow in the footsteps of Lady Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland, who established a field hospital in the town of Namur and witnessed the horrors of the German conquest before she was ordered out of the country.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sun 10 Aug 2014 19:00
BBC One Scotland, Scotland HD only


Role Contributor
PresenterSally Magnusson
PresenterDougie Vipond
PresenterRory Bremner
PresenterElaine C Smith
PresenterDenise Mina
PresenterAndrew O'Hagan
PresenterRicky Ross
ProducerColin Murray

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