Falling silent, 100 years after onset of Great War

Remembrance parades take place in communities across Fife this weekend
Remembrance parades take place in communities across Fife this weekend

Communities across Fife will join together on Sunday to pay their respects to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

The annual Remembrance Sunday parades and services will take place in Kirkcaldy and across neighbouring towns.

And this weekend’s ceremonies take on greater poignancy as this year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914.

Kirkcaldy’s annual service starts with the parade gathering at the Town Square for 10.30 a.m setting off for the Memorial Gardens at 10.40 a.m. The Queen’s representative this year is Mary Robertson, Depute Lord Lieutenant from Kinghorn.

Refreshments will be available at the Adam Smith Theatre with pupils from the town’s four secondary schools performing war era songs.

Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, said: “I am keen to look for opportunities for our young people to be at the heart of community engagement - and this 100 year remembrance is a poignant way to welcome their participation.

“The British Legion suggested that songs by the students should be of that era, making for a good tribute.”

In Kinghorn the parade commences at 11.45 a.m from Kinghorn Church heading to Rossland Place and then to the War Memorial.

In Burntisland, the parade leaves from the Fire Station at 10.15 a.m, led by Burntisland Pipe Band.

A service at the War Memorial will commence at noon. Representatives from the Scouts and Guides will read out the names of the fallen from the First World War during the wreath laying ceremony.

There will also be a chance to see the ‘Burntisland and the Forth in Conflict’ exhibition at the town’s Heritage Trust in Kirkgate from 12.30 p.m. until 4.00 p.m.

In Aberdour people are asked to gather around the War Memorial for 11.00 a.m.

Traffic is requested to stop at the Woodside Hotel, village clock and the top of Shore Road.

In East Wemyss the parade will gather at The Haugh before marching to the War Memorial. It will then continue up West Brae to Main Road to the bowling club.

In Auchterderran it is departing from Bowhill Club at 10.40 a.m., led by Bowhill Pipe Band, to the War Memorial.

The service will be conducted by local minister Tilly Wilson with a minute silence commencing at 11.00 a.m.

The wreath laying ceremony will then take place before the parade heads to the Railway Tavern where hot soup will be served.

Footballers who went to the front line

Raith Rovers and Hearts, two teams whose players fought and died for their country, meet at Tynecastle this weekend.

The Championship sides wanted their match to be staged during the weekend that the nation remembers in order to pay their respects to the players who signed up to the McCrae’s Battalion.

Many never returned, and others were badly wounded in action.

In 1914, Sir George McCrae raised a battalion of sportsmen to help fight in the Great War.

Seven Raith Rovers players (James H Logan, George McLay, Willie Porter, Willie Lavery, Jimmy Todd, Jimmy Scott and Jock Rattray), 16 from Hearts plus a number of players from other Scottish teams, immediately enlisted.

Hearts, along with McCrae’s Battalion Trust, led the way with the forming of the battalion and erected memorials in Edinburgh and in Northern France.

To mark this brave act and to pay their respects to those killed in battle, Raith Rovers will be wearing their new strip which created especially to mark the sacrifices made.

The new shirt will be in the Hunting Stewart tartan - the colours of McCrae’s Battalion - and feature a simple one word message ‘RemembeR’.Hearts have also organised tributes to mark the ocassion.

The club have decided not to have a sponsors name on the front this season as a mark of respect with a poppy being added to the strip for Saturday’s match.

A 100-page commemorative match programme will also be produced.