The Chain Mail

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Commemorating the First World War


Across the UK, and the globe, people are commemorating the centenary of one of the most devastating conflicts in world history: the First World War.

With this in mind Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) have launched a new website, Commemorating the First World War, to explore and remember the effect of this destructive war in Scotland.

Over the next 5 years we hope to continually add new content to make this an evolving, interesting and educational resource. Below are some of the key areas of the website…




Our feature articles will touch on a range of subject areas, often with a local angle. These will be written by our expert staff from Historic Scotland and RCAHMS.

So far, we’ve looked at the series of events that led to the outbreak of war in our Episodes in History series, as well as the transformation at Stirling Castle, where within days of the Queen’s garden party the castle was packed with reservists and new recruits as the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders prepared for war. Our series Places of the First World War will explore some of the locations around Scotland that have direct ties to the conflict, for example the training trenches at Castle Knowe.


Edinburgh Castle

Did you know that Edinburgh Castle was used as a garrison, recruiting depot, training centre, hospital and a prison during the war? Discover other fascinating facts about how some of Scotland’s iconic castles and abbeys were transformed to aid the war effort in the Properties section.


WW1 template idea 3

If you’re a teacher, you might be interested in the Learning section which details how you can use visits to our properties to deliver Curriculum for Excellence and allow students to put First World War topics into context by exploring buildings, museums and objects.

News & Events

Young visitors to Edinburgh Castle

Why not explore the range of First World War themed events being held at our properties, like Celebration of the Centuries, or keep up to speed with news stories relating to the commemoration.

As well as all of this, at the foot of the homepage you’ll find a raft of other useful resources. You can read information on applying for grants via the Centenary Memorials Restoration Fund (CMRF), explore the physical legacy of the First World War in Scotland by browsing RCAHMS’ Canmore database, or download conservation materials explaining how to maintain and repair war memorials.

Have you had a chance to look at the site? Did you think there was something missing, or something we might want to include? We’re really interested to hear exactly what you think.

Why not get in touch at and let us know your thoughts?


About Author

Steven Blyth

Steven works in the Digital Team at Historic Scotland. When he’s not working on developing our new and existing websites he’s blogging about them, as well as his experiences visiting our properties from a digital media perspective.

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