Remembering the Leith Battalion

In 2015 our S3 XL Group were invited to take part in the Remembering the Leith Battalion project by Bryan and Craig Maughan at the Pilmeny Youth Centre. As part of this we have researched the 216 casualties of the 1915 Gretna Rail Disaster. The 216 men were killed at Quintinshill on the 22nd May 1915 while on their way to fight in Gallipoli.

The commemoration has involved us helping to create a stained glass poppy wreath, creating glass dog tags to hang on a ‘Tree of Life’ and culminated in the actual commemoration of the crash on 22nd and 23rd May. We placed 216 wooden crosses at the Rosebank Cemetery Memorial on 22nd May and on the 23rd May there there was a parade from Dalmeny St. Drill Hall to Rosebank Cemetery followed by a commemoration service. The route was marked by a trail of 216 stencilled poppies which had been designed by the pupils, one for each of the casualties.

Posters raising awareness of the Quintinshill crash have also been designed by the pupils and were distributed throughout the area with one being giv-en/sent to the address that every casualty left from. We asked the current residents to display the poster in their window to let the local community know what happened.

We have also been involved in planting 215 trees as part of the World War I Centenary Wood in the Pentlands and the final tree was also planted on 23rd May, by HRH Anne, Princess Royal.

'Remembering the Leith Battalion' project wins Young Scot Community Award

As a result of this group effort, on the 27th April 2016 the Pilmeny Youth Centre's "Remembering the Leith Battalion" project won the Community Award at the Young Scots Awards. Well done to all who took part.

See also: In Memoriam