Friday 25 September marks one hundred years since the Battle of Loos took place on the Western Front, with an evening of poetry and music planned to commemorate the Scottish regiments who fought that day.
Celebrities and historians alike are readying themselves for an evening of cultural performances at Dundee’s historic hall.
With poetry, song, readings and orchestral music to be performed, the emphasis on the event is to acknowledge the experiences of those who fought in the largest British battle of 1915.
Friday night’s event will showcase a collaboration between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Dundee Symphony Orchestra. Critically-acclaimed traditional singers such as Robyn Stapleton and BBC Radio Scotland classical music presenter Jamie MacDougall will perform along with Dundee’s own Sheena Wellington and the Wighton Singers.
The Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band will also be present along with rising star soprano Jessica Leary, giving much for traditional Scottish music lovers to appreciate.
Much of the musical content of the event has been rarely performed and there is the first performance of a new setting of the Joseph Lee poem “The Listening Post” , which has been put to music by Dallahan especially for this event.
Familiar faces from the world of showbiz will be presenting the event including Lorraine Kelly and Daniel Portman, who plays Podrick Payne in TV series Game of Thrones. Scottish actor James Robertson and Jamie MacDougall will also share presentation duties.
All four presenters will read poetry, newspaper articles and letters to the audience to create, in the words of the event organisers, “a flavour of the times and deliver, using the words of those who were there, the stories of and behind the battle”.
Education Scotland will also launch their newest exhibition by Morgan Academy and St John’s RC High School pupils on the same day in Marryat Hall.
The inititiative will see S1 pupils introducing the topic of World War 1 and its impact on Dundee to the public. Running parallel to this will be the University of Abertay’s Loos Visualisation scheme.
During the Battle of Loos, British forces endured nearly double the losses of the Germans, with many Scottish soldiers losing their lives on the battlefield. The skirmish is also noteworthy as the first use of poison gas by the British.
Tickets to “Remembering Loos: A National Commemorative Event” cost £5 with an online transaction fee of £2, and are available from Dundee’s Box Office or on 01382 434940 now.