Caption: The Kitchener Memorial in Orkney.

Remembrance Day is commemorated on the 11th of November, to recognise the sacrifice of the armed forces who gave their lives in the line of duty during World War I. Across the country, and indeed the wider world, a two-minute silence will be widely observed at 11 am, as hostilities in the great war formally ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, in accordance with the terms of the armistice - although the conflict was not officially over until the signing of the treaty of Versailles the following June.

This year’s commemorations take on further significance, falling as it does during the 100th anniversary of the conflict.

There will be a number of similar events held across many Historic Environment Scotland properties, with particular interest likely to be paid to the buildings with military heritage and direct links to the war. Edinburgh Castle is one such site, which was used as a barracks and military hospital during the conflict. It now houses the National War Memorial for Scotland, which displays the Rolls of Honour of Scots servicemen and women from all the armed services, the Dominions, Merchant Navy, Women's Services, Nursing Services and civilian casualties of all wars from 1914 to date.

Caption: A young visitor to Edinburgh Castle, with two Gordon Highlanders.

World War I touched the lives of millions of Scots, both at home and abroad. Of the 700,000 who joined the armed forces during the war, more than 100,000 died. Nearly every village, town and city in Scotland has some form of memorial displaying the names of their war dead. In order to ensure that the long term future of these memorials, the Scottish Government, along with Historic Environment Scotland, and the War Memorials Trust, have made £1 million pounds available to local communities across the country to help restore their memorials, which runs concurrently with the centenary commemorations.

The latest batch of 21 war memorial fund recipients was recently announced, which included funding for restoration of the likes of the imposing  Kitchener Memorial on Marwick Head in Orkney (pictured), to the much smaller Caledonian Station Hotel war memorial in Edinburgh.

Many of the memorials have recently completed their repair work and will provide a focal point for remembrance day commemorations, including  the Limekilns and Charleston memorial in Fife, on which a large bronze sword went missing in 1921 and has been missing ever since. Thanks to the war memorial fund, a new sword has been created to replace the missing one and was installed for Remembrance Sunday.   

Today we remember the millions who gave their lives in one of the worst conflicts in human history. It is our job to ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten.

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