1,000 Invited To Drumhead Service

People from across Scotland are being invited to join a special service to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War next month.

A thousand free places have been made available to members of the public who do not already have tickets for the Drumhead Service at Edinburgh Castle on August 10.

The multi-faith commemoration will be held before a congregation of almost 9,000 people, including representatives of the armed services, veterans' groups, charities and civic leaders.

The event will replicate services held on the frontline 100 years ago when piled drums with draped Colours were used in place of an altar.

It will be followed by a parade of military bands and guards down the Royal Mile to a replica Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in Holyrood Park.

Thousands of seats have already been allocated for the service, which will mark the start of a five-year programme of commemorations in Scotland.

Eight events from the war that had a significant impact on Scotland will be remembered, including the start and end of the conflict; major battles including Gallipoli, Loos, Jutland and Arras; and domestic incidents such as the Quintinshill rail disaster and the loss of HMY Iolaire.

Norman Drummond, chair of the Scottish Commemorations Panel, said: "We want to invite the whole of Scotland - people of all ages and in all corners of the country - to join us in remembering those who served during the First World War, to consider the significant impact the war had on Scotland and Scots around the world and to ask the question 'What do we learn from all this?'

"Thanks to the support of local authorities, every part of Scotland will be represented at the Drumhead Service in addition to those from the military, veterans' communities, charities and civic Scotland.

"By making a thousand places available to the general public we can be certain that as many people as possible, from all parts of Scotland, have an opportunity to come and commemorate this important anniversary, upon which we and our children and our grandchildren may in years to come reflect that 'we were there and we remembered'.''

Culture and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The Drumhead Service, procession and memorial event on August 10 will be the first in a series of commemorative events between now and 2019 through which we will encourage people of all ages across Scotland to recognise the significant and broad impact the First World War had on our nation, and to reflect on its lasting social and civic legacy.

"This will be an opportunity for those from all parts of Scotland to come together to remember more than 100,000 Scots who lost their lives during the First World War, those who were left injured or disabled by the terrible conflict, and the families and communities in every city, town and village who were forced to come to terms with the terrible consequences.''

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo are organising the service, procession and memorial event at the request of Scottish ministers.

Tickets can be requested online from 9am today at www.WW100Scotland.com.

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