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Lord Provost

Let’s stand together to remember Jutland

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson is calling on all Lothian communities to come together this weekend (Saturday 28 May) to remember the Battle of Jutland.

Close to a century ago almost 9,000 British and German lives were lost at sea during the biggest maritime clash of WW1 - the Battle of Jutland. It truly was one of the most tragic clashes of WW1 and the worst of the war’s maritime battles.

The fighting took place in the North Sea but was felt by the communities of Queensferry and Rosyth. Can you picture the scene along the Firth of Forth in 1916? Shipbuilding and seaplanes; naval officers setting sail, tragically never to return to their families. 

This weekend, Edinburgh and Fife will come together to mark the centenary of this war torn chapter in Scottish history.

On Saturday (28 May), I’ll be joining HRH The Princess Royal, the First Minister, veterans and sea cadets at a closed memorial service where we will remember the fallen.

Held in South Queensferry Scottish War Graves Commission’s Cemetery where 40 casualties from the battle are commemorated or buried, it will be a poignant reminder of the scene which once took place off our shores and a chance for reconciliation.

It will be a proud moment for me to stand alongside ancestors of those who fought and died for their country and I think it is so important that our communities take a moment to reflect on our shared past.

While the formal commemorations will certainly be a time for reflection, local people will ensure the day is also a celebration of strong community spirit.

You can head along to the Hawes Pier to take in a naval parade, beat the retreat and to see a brightly painted dazzle ship anchored in the Forth. Please join us if you can for these special events.

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal plans to unveil a commemorative plaque which will later take permanent place at South Queensferry’s shore. I hope it will provide a lasting tribute for at least the next 100 years. If you can’t be there this weekend, be sure to take a moment to visit this plaque and perhaps take a visit to Queensferry At War, a temporary exhibition at the local Council Museum. At it you can pay your own, special respects for those people who went through and gave up so much 100 years ago.