Friday, 14 February 2014

Plans to mark outbreak of war

North Ayrshire Council’s ruling SNP Cabinet is this week expected to put in place plans to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

The war, which, for Britain, officially started on August 4 1914, ultimately claimed the lives of 16 million people, with an additional 20 million wounded, making it one of the deadliest military conflicts in human history.

Records show there were 995,939 military and civilian deaths from the United Kingdom and a total of 1,663,435 British wounded. British Commonwealth forces, particularly from Australia and New Zealand, also suffered high rates of dead and wounded. Figures for the German Empire record 2,476,897 military and civilian deaths, with 4,247,143 wounded.

A total of 147,609 Scots lost their lives in the four-year-long conflict between 1914 and 1918. At the time, Scotland’s population was 10% of the UK, but Scots made up 20% of Britain’s war dead. In a figure that still shocks today, 26% of Scots who went off to fight in the First World War did not return.

Virtually every town and village in Scotland lost some of its young men to the ‘Great War’ and memorials bearing their names form central parts of remembrance services held every November – the armistice ending the First World War was signed on November 11th 1918.

A report for this week’s meeting of the Council’s SNP Cabinet states, “Through working with individuals, communities and the Royal British Legion, a number of events and an educational programme are organised to take place to commemorate the anniversaries of the start of WWI and WW2 during 2014 and beyond. The Council's 23 War Memorials will be prepared and presented to the highest possible standard being complemented by colourful floral decorations to commemorate the significance of 2014.”

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 2.

Included in a whole range of activities, large and small, to mark the historic events are a North Ayrshire-wide ‘Adopt a Hero’ initiative, in which school pupils will be encouraged to adopt a serviceman or servicewoman from their local war memorial and research his or her life in their local community prior to their military service. Final research projects will be displayed in local libraries in November 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment