Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Scots urged by CWGC to remember the fallen of the Battle of Loos


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission ( today urged the Scottish public to remember the sacrifices made by Scots during the Battle of Loos in France a century ago ahead of a series of commemorative events in Dundee this weekend.

The Battle of Loos (September – October 1915) was the British Army’s largest effort of the war so far, with 75,000 men involved on the first day alone – almost half from Scottish Regiments. Battalions from every Scottish regiment fought in the Battle of Loos and suffered huge numbers of casualties.

Five Victoria Crosses were given to Scots after the battle in recognition of their extraordinary bravery – including one to Piper Daniel Laidlaw who famously ripped off his gas mask, climbed onto the parapet of his trench and played his comrades forward into battle.

Loos saw the first British use of poison gas and also the first deployment of battalions formed of inexperienced wartime volunteers - part of General Douglas Haig’s First Army. It became known at the time as ‘the Big Push.’

To mark the centenary, the CWGC has launched a remembrance trail, that has been specially designed to encourage more people to visit this often overlooked battlefield.

The CWGC Loos Remembrance Trail takes the visitor on a journey of discovery across the battlefields of Loos, visiting some of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemeteries where many of those killed in the battle lie buried and discovering more about the battle and the experiences of those who fought it.

The CWGC’s Director of External Relations, Mr Colin Kerr, explained: “The Battle of Loos might be described as a Scottish battle given the huge number of Scots that took part. Almost 30,000 Scots fought at Loos and some 7,000 lost their lives. Of the 20,000 names of the dead on the Commission’s memorial at Loos, one-third are Scottish.”

“These losses were deeply felt in every city, town and village across Scotland and yet the Battle of Loos has largely been forgotten. We be lieve that is not right and that these men, and the cemeteries and memorials where they are commemorated, deserve to be better known and visited and that is why we have launched this fascinating and easy to follow remembrance trail.”

A pdf of the remembrance trail leaflet can be downloaded, here: Loos Remembrance Trail Leaflet.

(With thanks to Nick Birch)


For details on my genealogy guide books, including my recently released Discover Irish Land Records and Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, please visit My Pinterest account is at

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