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Battle to tell the story of Gallipoli heroes in school history lessons

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to underline the contribution of Scots soldiers who served in the Middle East during the First World War.

GALLIPOLI: The 52nd Lowland Division fought in the famous battle.
GALLIPOLI: The 52nd Lowland Division fought in the famous battle.

Amateur historians say they are dismayed experts who helped draw up Scotland's education curriculum have not acknowledged the part played by members of 52nd Lowland Division and instead focused on the losses suffered in battles such as Loos, the Somme and Arras in France.

The group, which has set up an internet campaign through a Twitter page 'Scotland's Great War', said Education Scotland had given too little information about the 52nd Lowland Division, which recruited troops from the south of Scotland, on its website.

It says too little attention has been paid to the men who fought at Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine and their bravery and sacrifice has been forgotten.

A spokesman said: "An example of the content is a file listing the Scottish Divisions of the First World War. The problem with this file is it only lists three out of the four front line Scottish Divisions which fought in the First World War - the 9th (Scottish), 15th (Scottish) and 51st (Highland) Divisions. There is no mention of the 52nd (Lowland) Division.

"The fact the Lowlanders spent most of the war in the Middle East and not the Western Front should not excuse their absence from a document which purports to be a list of "The Scottish Divisions of the First World War".

The failed Allied offensive at Gallipoli was fought between April 25 1915 and January 91916 on a narrow peninsula bearing its name in southern Turkey.

The aim was to help Russian troops who found themselves under threat from the Turks and try to take Constantinople (now Istanbul).

By capturing the city, the British hoped to link up with the Russians, knock Turkey out of the war and persuade the Balkan states to join the Allies.

It was the first major military action by Australia and New Zealand as independent dominions, and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in those nations. The date , April 25, is known as "Anzac Day".

After Gallipoli the 52nd Lowland Division moved to Egypt, defending the Suez Canal and then advancing into Palestine.

After three years in the Middle East, the Lowlanders were transferred in 1918 to the Western Front for the final battles of the war.

The spokeman added: "The 52nd Division doesn't deserve to be left out of Education Scotland's web content. The First World War is a mammoth topic, so some content will have to be left out, but the omission of the 52nd Lowland Division is a disgraceful slight."

An Education Scotland spokeswoman said: "The 52nd Lowland Division is referenced in our First World War resources.

"We are in the process of creating a resource which focuses on Scottish units in the wider range of campaigns, which will feature the 52nd Lowland Division. We hope for this to be ready for the next school session."

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Education

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