History - War effort remembered

22nd October 2010 at 01:00

A new online archive detailing Edinburgh's contribution to the First World War effort includes a host of inspiring stories, most told for the first time.

Run by Edinburgh University, the archive includes accounts of Girl Guides helping MI5, Serbian refugee boys being educated at George Heriot's School, and James Gillespie's School teachers showing soldiers how to cook. It also documents the visit of Canadian Expeditionary Force soldiers from Canada, led by Chief Clear Sky who requested that part of their duty take place in Scotland. They were so impressed by hospitality in Edinburgh that they raised money for the Red Cross in Scotland and sent it to build veterans' homes.

A central part of the project is to create a full roll of honour for the city's war dead, using a variety of sources including information from schools. Researchers have been working on the archive with libraries, historians and community groups. Yvonne McEwen, honorary fellow at the university's Centre for the Study of Two World Wars, appealed for more people to come forward with information.

The university plans to expand the archive to cover other Scottish cities in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014.


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