THE United Kingdom is getting ready to remember the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in a programme that has not been without controversy.

But the event that will launch Scotland's official contribution - a drumhead service at Edinburgh Castle - will most definitely be a respectful commemoration, and not a celebration.

More than 8,000 people from all parts of Scotland will attend the multi-faith service on August 10, in which drums will be used as an altar, just as they were on the battlefields of the Western Front.

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Following the service, military bands will parade down the Royal Mile to the Queen's Park. They will be followed by members of the congregation, which will be drawn from members of the public from every local authority area in Scotland. There, wreaths and markers will be laid to reflect the sacrifice made by so many.

There can be no doubt that this will be one of the most imaginative ways in which the significance of this anniversary will be marked. It will aslo be one of the most moving.

This will be a service to stir the blood, not raise the hackles.