The Scottish National War Memorial stands in Crowne Square at the very top of Edinburgh Castle, looking out across the Firth of Forth towards the Highlands from where so many men came during World War 1. They came from isolated farms and communities many of which did not survive the loss of so many of their young men.
Others came from the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, where many men who worked together and lived in the same streets joined up to fight and die together in the PALS battalions.
All these men are remembered in the Rolls of Honour in the Memorial at the top of the Castle.
The main hall is divided into bays for every Regiment where the regimental colours are displayed and the names of those who died are written in a red leather-bound book, with the date and theatre of war in which they died recorded. There are also plaques depicting the work of the Engineers, the RAMC, Women's services, even a plaque to canaries and white mice - The Tunnellers Friends.
The beautiful stained glass windows depicting the seasons and military services which provide soft coloured light to the hall were designed by Douglas Strachan (1875-1950).
Many of the bronze plaques including the frieze around the Shrine were designed by Gertrude Alice Meredith Williams(1878-1934). The magnificent frieze depicting many roles in service is said to have been designed with the help of drawings her husband made of fellow soldiers whilst himself serving in the war.
The money to build the Memorial was raised in many ways including public subscription. It is said that the first donation came from a beggar. Stamps were also sold to raise the necessary funds.
The memorial was finally opened on July 14,1927 by King George V accompanied by the Queen and the Prince of Wales.
Services are still held there.
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