Your Scots at Sea supplement (15 July) in the “World War One” series was of considerable interest to me. My father was born in Leith and moved to Corstorphine as a small boy when his father’s business began to prosper in the pre-First World War years.
In his later years, he regaled me with tales of his youth and exciting life, whether it be his rescue halfway up the Castle Rock by the Edinburgh Fire Brigade, or, as a cavalry private in the school cadet force, being asked sarcastically by an army NCO who had given him permission to dismount when his horse threw him.
One abiding memory was of a night in 1916. My grandfather and father were standing at the window, their view lit by the fires caused by the bombs that had been dropped, watching the German Zeppelins returning home from their first bombing mission against Leith, as described in your supplement, powerless to do anything to intervene.
Perhaps it was poetic justice that, less than three years later, he was able to watch the German Imperial Fleet sail into the Forth to surrender to the British Fleet.
Andrew HN Gray