Remembrance Day Scotland

Also called Armistice Day, because the 1918 Armistice is the event it remembers, and Poppy Day, the first Remembrance Day proper took place in 1919 in a ceremony dedicated to the fallen by King George V.

When the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig (1861-1928) had been Commander in Chief of the British army for more than three difficult years. A Scotsman, Haig was a career soldier, and saw action in the Sudan, South Africa and India before World War I. His wealthy family owned the Haig whisky business.

After World War I, Haig worked hard in the cause of the soldiers who had served under him. He helped establish the Royal British Legion and RBL Scotland in 1921 and accepted chairmanship of the United Services Fund: at the time these formed the largest benevolent organisations in Britain. For many years all the poppies sold to raise funds for these charities had HF (Haig Fund) printed on the centre.

A few regimental memorials and Boer War statues appeared before World War I but it wasn’t until after the huge losses of the 1914-18 conflict that Scotland’s towns and cities, and countless small, rural communities dedicated monuments to those who had not returned from the front.

Every Remembrance Day, wreaths of poppies are laid at memorials across Scotland and men, women and children mark the moment the Armistice was signed with a two-minute silence. On 11 November we remember the fallen of all conflicts, from the battlefields of World War I to 21st-century conflict zones.