Scotland’s war

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For several months I have been keeping a very close eye on what is happening in Scotland for the forthcoming centenary of the First World War.

I have been underwhelmed by the response from the Scottish Government; appalled at the apathy of the Scottish War Museum to involve itself with commemorating the very conflict which created it; and disappointed that the Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS) has turned to London-based organisations for its recently launched Primary School War Memorials Competition.

Why the RBLS had to involve The War Memorials Trust and Imperial War Museum when there are organisations in Scotland it could have aligned itself to is beyond me.

The Imperial War Museum has not seen fit to involve itself in Scotland in its 97-year history until now.

Perhaps it sees a vacuum left by the absence of our own national war museum in centenary planning and senses that there are too many gullible Scots in positions of cultural influence who can not see beyond London for help in their planning.

Recent letters in this publication highlighted other readers’ concerns about a London-centric BBC ignoring Scottish news.

My new concern is that I have been hearing that BBC Scotland is now also choosing to associate itself with the Imperial War Museum and also the Arts & Humanities Research Council, based in Swindon, England, rather than using the many First World War experts and academics we have here in Scotland.

This development will surely mean a diminution of the story which will be told of Scotland’s role in the First World War.

This role is already laden with myth and by not using the experts on their doorstep it is likely BBC Scotland will reinforce, not dispel these myths.

Adam Brown

Brunswick Terrace

Edinburgh

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