Share your family’s World War One story with us

editorial image

Friday, August 3, marks 100 days to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

An Allied counter-attack, the Hundred Day Offensive, finally broke the stalemate on the Western Front and brought World War One to a close.

Symbol of remembrance...Elaine Edwards, National War Museum exhibition co-curator, holding a 1920s waxed paper poppy. (Pic: Neil Hanna)

Symbol of remembrance...Elaine Edwards, National War Museum exhibition co-curator, holding a 1920s waxed paper poppy. (Pic: Neil Hanna)

Today, the Fife Herald is launching its own Hundred Day Offensive, to ensure everyone locally has an opportunity to remember, reflect on and mark this historic occasion.

And we’re asking our army of readers to take part in the campaign, by paying special tribute to their own World War One heroes.

The men who so bravely fought for our freedom from 1914 to 1918 can no longer share their stories with us – sadly, they are all now gone.

But we’re hoping the proud families of these men will give them a voice – so that none of us ever forgets the debt we owe.

Appeal...Colin Hume, Johnston Press Scottish weeklies editorial director, is asking readers to share their World War One stories and pictures.

Appeal...Colin Hume, Johnston Press Scottish weeklies editorial director, is asking readers to share their World War One stories and pictures.

Colin Hume, Johnston Press Scottish weeklies editorial director, explained more about the campaign.

“No village, town or city in Scotland was left unscathed by World War One,” he said.

“Countless sons, brothers and husbands were lost to the war and their families were left here to grieve them.

“Also here at home, in our foundries and on our farms, workers toiled long and hard to help feed the war machine.

“With 100 days to go until the anniversary of the end of World War One, we want local families to share their stories with our readers and ensure that these brave men are never forgotten.”

Remembrance Day this year will be a particularly poignant one, marking as it does 100 years since the end of the war.

More Britons died in World War One than in any other conflict; around six million men were mobilised and, of those, just over 700,000 were killed.

Nary a village, town or city in Scotland was unscathed – as evidenced by the war memorials which stand proudly within them.

The majority were constructed after the war ended, their aim being to provide communities with a focal point for their grief.

One hundred years since the war ended, on November 11, 2018, they will serve that self-same purpose.

Up and down the country, special commemorations are also being staged to remember the fallen and all those who fought for our freedom.

The National War Museum in Edinburgh Castle is currently hosting an exhibition, The Poppy: A Symbol of Remembrance.

Featuring loans from Poppy Scotland and the Lady Haig Poppy Factory, it explores the origins of the symbolism of the poppy.

It includes examples from 1921, when the first poppy day took place in Britain, and 1926 when the first poppies were made at Lady Haig’s Edinburgh factory.

The exhibition is open until January 27, 2019, and is included in castle admission.

At Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on August 19, from noon to 2pm, families are being invited to take part in the Big Poppy Bounce.

People will space hop 100 metres to mark the 100th anniversary – and raise vital funds for Poppy Scotland.

Visit www.poppyscotland.org.uk/get-involved/the-big-poppy-bounce for more details.

Fife Cultural Trust is also marking the anniversary with a special exhibition on MAC, its mobile museum; by making some fascinating archive diaries and letters available online; and by running theatre workshops for local primary schools.

In addition, Heritage Lottery Funding has enabled the Trust to organise a week of free events from November 9 to 14.

It will culminate with a free family day at Rothes Hall on November 14 from 11am to 3pm. Visitors will meet a World War One soldier, handle original artefacts and climb on board the mobile museum. There will also a be a chance to try your hand at everything from hat making to periscopes.

For more information on the week of events, visit www.onfife.com/fifes-great-war.

On Sunday, November 11, Remembrance services will be held in towns and villages across Fife, with wreath-laying ceremonies at local war memorials.

Fife groups which have commemorated the centenary will also be celebrated at a World War One conference in Carnegie Library, Dunfermline, on November 17.

To share your memories and pictures, send an email – entitled World War One – to heraldnews@fifetoday.co.uk.