I WAS surprised and not a little disappointed to see so many empty seats at the First World War commemorative Drumhead Service at the Castle Esplanade on 10 August.
The event itself was obviously well planned, and with the resources of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo behind it I don’t think there was any doubt that the ceremony and parade down the Royal Mile would not run like clockwork.
I don’t think there is a lack of interest in the First World War Centenary across Scotland, so what can explain the lack of interest in taking up seats at the service?
Local authorities across Scotland were allocated tickets, and the general public could also request a seat, but on the day only 55 per cent of the seats were filled. What could the culture secretary, her department and the members of the Scottish Commemorations Panel have done to promote this event more widely within the geographical areas they represent?
At every opportunity when discussing the First World War Centenary, the culture secretary and her Scottish Commemorations Panel like to ask: “What do we learn from all this?” So will there be any lessons learned by them from Sunday?