News and Events

The Battle of the Somme Vigil - 30 June/1 July 2016

At 0730hrs on 1 July 1916 the whistles blew and the pipes played ordering men to climb out of their trenches and cross "no-mans" land towards the German positions. So began the Battle of the Somme.

The UK Government announced on 30 November 2015 that Vigils would be held across the country to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. One of the Vigils was held in the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle overnight 30 June and 1 July 2016.

Those Scots who took part in the Battle were represented by groups of Service personnel and Veterans Groups keeping vigil, in silent watches, throughout the night around the Casket within the Shrine of the Memorial. The Casket contains the names of the over 100,000 Scots who fell in the First World War. Over 700 members of the public visited the overnight Vigil held in the War Memorial. The Vigil was manned by 20 members of the Armed Forces and over 100 members of Service Veterans groups.

The Trustees of the War Memorial thank all those members of the public who came to visit the Vigil and all the members of Armed Forces and Service Veterans Groups who supported the event.

Photographs of Vigil can be viewed below:

RAF Sentinels around the Casket<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/143/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Cabinet Secretary Fiona Hyslop arrives at the Vigil<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/144/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
The congregation awaits the start of the Opening Service<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/145/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Scotland<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/146/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Off coming RAF Watch<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/147/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Comrades in arms<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/148/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
The 2 minute silence<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/149/add/#comments">Add comment</a>
Oncoming Royal Navy and Royal Marine Watch<br/><a href="gallery/battle-of-the-somme-vigil-2016/150/add/#comments">Add comment</a>