Leader comment: Remembering Passchendaele

One hundred years ago saw the start of one of the most horrific battles in human history.

The Black Watch (3 SCOTS) in Crieff, Perthshire, as they lead a parade to mark the 100-year commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele. Picture: SWNS

More than half a million soldiers died at Passchendaele, 325,000 of these Allied troops, in a battle that raged from July to November in the most grotesque conditions.

The slaughter was appalling then and almost inconceivable a century later as thousands were mown down by machine gun fire within minutes of going “over the top”.

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All the more reason, therefore, to mark this most grim of anniversaries, to remind the generations that followed of the huge sacrifices made, to ensure we never forget and to reinforce our commitment to striving for peaceful solutions to conflict wherever and whenever possible.

A parade and service in Crieff yesterday attended by thousands marked the heavy losses suffered by Scottish soldiers – in particular the high number of Black Watch soldiers who fought near Ypres from 31 July to 10 November 1917, in battlefields that turned to liquid mud, gaining only five miles of ground in three months.

Lest we forget…