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BBC's war coverage will not rejoice in victory

THE BBC's 130-programme coverage of the First World War centenary is a commemoration not a celebration, its controller has insisted.

Adrian Van Klaveren, who is overseeing 2500 hours of programming about the war in the next four years, said the BBC's aim was to provide a range of perspectives and views of the conflict.

BBC Scotland will air 100 stories from across the country in relation to the war, including the Zeppelin raids on Leith, the role of Mary Barbour in the Glasgow Rent Strikes, the Royal Flying Corps Squadron at the Montrose Air Station and the tale of Carl Lody, a German spy who was based in Edinburgh.

Mr Van Klaveren said several programmes, on TV and radio as well as online, will reflect Scotland's war experience, especially how the nation suffered proportionately the highest number of casualties in the British forces.

He said the wide-ranging programming would not be a celebration of the Allies' victory over Germany.

"What we above all want to do is help understanding of the war, the causes, what it was all about," he said.

BBC Scotland documentaries include the Machine Gun, a history of the weapon, and Skye's Band of Brothers, which looks at the science of the Maxim gun and its devastating effect on a tightly-knit community in Portree.

BBC Radio Scotland will air The School That Went To War, a five-part series which looks at the conflict through the eyes of Scottish school pupils who set out to track the lives of soldiers from their home town.

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