Tribute to the fallen of Arras

Great War soliders on the march
Great War soliders on the march

Two S3 history pupils from Monifieth High School are set for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to France to observe the centenary of the Battle of Arras at Scotland’s national commemorations.

Organised by WW100 Scotland, students Carrie Mitchelson and Emily Lynch are among 72 pupils representing each local authority in Scotland selected for the five-day trip.

The Scottish pupils will be joined by a matching number of French and Canadian students at a memorial service at the Faubourg d’Amiens Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Arras this Sunday, April 9, where they will lay a wreath on behalf of the nations that fought together and place poppy crosses on graves.

The Battle of Arras, which took place between April 9 and May 15, 1917, was part of a planned offensive by British and French forces.

It had the highest concentration of Scottish troops fighting in a single battle during World War One and 18,000 Scots lost their lives.

Forty four of the 120 battalions that made up the 10 British assault divisions were Scottish.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Battle of Arras is of huge significance to Scotland’s commemorative calendar. Forty four Scottish Battalions and seven Scottish-named Canadian Battalions took part in the engagement – the highest concentration of Scottish troops fighting in a single battle during World War One.

“The casualties had a devastating impact on those back home at the time, and resonate to this day in our collective memory. I am heartened that our young people will attend this commemoration – helping to ensure future generations will not forget the horrors and grief associated with war.”