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"You were only David's father,
But I had fifty sons
When we went up in the evening
Under the arch of the guns."
~ "In Memorium", Ewart Alan Mackintosh (1893-1917)
This new tartan, part of the Scotland's War Historical project, was unveiled at Craiglockhart Hospital, whose patients included the famous war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Interest in Scottish war poets, whose works were historically overshadowed, is increasing, including the poetry of Ewart Alan Mackintosh, whose works convey a deep sympathy for the sufferings of all the men at the Front and a sense of duty to his fellow soldiers.
Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen in the two World Wars and later conflicts". It is held on the second Sunday in November, the Sunday nearest to 11 November, Armistice Day.
The Scotland’s War tartan has a predominant colour of scarlet which signifies the blood of the dead and wounded, as well as the Lion Rampant of Scotland and the poppy, and the significant sacrifices made by the Scottish people on the Home and Fighting Fronts, and the Scottish Diaspora, in the Great War.
According to the designer's notes: "It is not generally understood that the War was not technically and legally over until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in June 1919. Until then, there was an armistice which is a formal agreement of warring parties to stop fighting."
This tartan is companion to the Scotland's War (1914-1919) historical project, developed by war historian Professor Yvonne McEwen, at the University of Wolverhampton. She writes:
“There are so many regimental tartans, but no particular ones for the Great War. Yet we are an old nation and a battle-weary nation who lost between 100,000-230,000 lives in that war alone. No consistent figure exists for the number killed, but per head of population Scotland contributed more than other nation for people fighting in the war."
This tartan was unveiled at Craiglockhart, a war hospital, albeit an officers’ hospital. It has become so much part of World War One history that it is almost an icon, a place where some of the great war poets like Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen were patients.
For more on the project that inspired this tartan, click the poppy field.