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We cannot forget that 26% of Scots in First World War didn't come home

The UK's population in 1911 was 42,138,000 and Scotland's was 4,751,000: 11.27% of the UK total.

At Loos, on September 25, 1915, 36 of the 72 attacking battalions were Scottish and of the 12 participating battalions which suffered more than 500 casualties, eight were Scottish.

At the Battle of Arras, on April 9, 1917, the Official History noted that 44 of the 120 infantry battalions committed (36.6%) were Scottish (12 each in 15th and 51st Divisions); nine, including the South African Scottish in the 9th; six, including four Tyneside Scottish in the 34th; three in the 3rd; one in the 30th and 1/1 London Scottish in the 56th. Removing the Tynesiders, South Africans and London Scottish, all of which may not have had a majority of Scots, the remaining 39 Scottish battalions represents 32.5% of the attacking force.

Like all the UK's good Western Front assault divisions, 9th (Scottish), 15th (Scottish) and 51st (Highland) were deployed in crucial attacks more often than less competent divisions. Their war's end casualties reflected this. The 52nd (Lowland) served in the Middle East and, latterly, France.

Of the Scots who marched away, 26.4% did not come home: the percentage for the rest of the UK and Ireland was 11.8% and for France 16.8%. Only the Serbs and Turks had a higher proportion of participant deaths than Scotland.

All Scotland's First World War commemorations should stress the fact that 1.6% of the adult male population of the rest of the UK and Ireland died in the war. Scotland's adult male population was depleted by 3.1%.

Colin Campbell,

Braeside, Shuttle Street, Kilbarchan.

IN regard to marking the centenary of the First World War in 2014, Glasgow City Council has met military officers, the Royal British Legion and others with an interest in the armed forces. Why did it not involve other ranks, peace movements and the equivalent of the conscientious objectors who were in significant numbers in Glasgow? There is a danger the commemoration will glorify and justify war.

Bob Holman,

76 Balgonie Road, Glasgow.

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