commemorates nearly 150,000 Scottish casualties in the 1914-18
War and over 50,000 in the 1939-45 War and campaigns since 1945.
The architect Sir
Robert Lorimer and 200 Scottish craftsmen transformed a barrack
block into a Hall of Honour, a place of record where the names
of the dead are on permanent display. Every branch of the armed
services and their civilian auxiliaries is represented.
On entering the
Hall of Honour (see plan overleaf), the memorials of 8 Scottish
Regiments will be seen on the opposite north wall, with 4
further Regiments in the south-west and south-east bays to left
and right. At the left (west) end is the Flying Services
memorial, and at the right (east) end that of the Royal Navy. In
the south-west bay are memorials to the Merchant Navy, women's
and nursing services, the Indian Army and Chaplains; in the
south-east bay, memorials to the Royal Artillery, Royal
Engineers, Yeomanry, Commonwealth and other forces. Above runs a
frieze of the names of principal land battles of 1914-18. The
stained glass by Douglas Strachan depicts, on the south wall,
the four seasons with scenes of the nation at war; other windows
are dedicated to women's services (south-west bay), Flying
Services (west), Royal Navy (east) and engineering and armaments
(south-east). The floor is of granite from Ailsa Craig, an
island off the west coast of Scotland.
North of the Hall
of Honour through wrought-iron gates is a stone-vaulted inner
shrine or apse, a place of quiet pilgrimage and thanksgiving. A
green marble stone of remembrance rests on the highest point of
the volcanic rock on which Edinburgh Castle is built. On top of
the stone is a wrought-steel casket guarded by four bronze
angels, the gift of King George V and Queen Mary, containing the
scrolls with the names of the 1914-18 dead deposited on the
opening day in 1927. Over the casket hangs the oak figure of St
Michael, captain of the heavenly host. Round the walls is a
processional bronze frieze of over 100 living portrait figures
by Morris and Alice Meredith Williams, depicting every kind of
uniform and equipment used in 1914-18. The stained glass here,
also by Strachan, is richer and more spiritual in theme.
On leaving the
inner shrine, note the figure of Reveille over the entrance door
by C. d'O. Pilkington Jackson, who also designed all the
lettering in the memorial, many of the badges, shields and
trophies, and the medallion to The Earl Haig at the east end of
the Hall of Honour.
omissions to the Rolls may be notified, and places of burial
ascertained, on cards available from the warders on duty.
The Memorial is
administered by an independent charitable trust. Donations
towards the upkeep of its contents will be gratefully received
in the boxes provided.
illustrated guidebook and other literature, colour
transparencies and postcards are available from the Castle Shop
on the way out of the Castle.
You can visit the Scottish War
Memorial web site here