Roll call of the 2nd Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, near Beaumont Hamel on the afternoon of 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The insignia on the soldiers' sleeves indicate they were part of the attacking force (Photo © IWM Q 746)

Somme Centenary - 1,000 public tickets for Scotland's vigil

Posted on on 24 May 2016
Share |

Members of the public can apply for free tickets to attend Scotland's National Vigil commemorating the Centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The ceremony takes place at the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle on June 30th 2016, the eve of the July 1st anniversary.

One thousand tickets have been made available for four separate time slots between 6:45pm and 8:30pm.

Ticket holders for the last entry time are invited to a short service typical of those held on the battlefield, before the vigil closes to the public at 9.30pm. 

Representatives of regimental associations will keep watch through the night until 7.30am, the time British troops went 'over the top' on July 1st 1916. 


Norman Drummond, Chair of the WW100 Scottish Commemorations Panel, said: "On the night of Thursday 30th June till 7.30 on the morning of Friday 1st July across the UK many people will be participating in vigils to commemorate the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.

"Scotland’s National Vigil will take place in the Scottish National War Memorial which is sited within Edinburgh Castle.  

"It promises to be a very moving occasion with those who wish to pay their respects filing silently through the memorial past the shrine where the casket containing the original Role of Honour for the fallen of WWI will be guarded by sentinels with heads bowed."

Fifty one Scottish battalions took part in the four-month offensive on the Somme. 

They included the 6th Battalion Royal Scots, ‘McCrae’s Battalion’, which was largely composed of professional and amateur sportsmen and their supporters. The battalion lost 12 officers and 573 soldiers in the attack on the first day.

The vigil is organised in partnership with WW100 Scotland, Legion Scotland, the Scottish National War Memorial, the Ministry of Defence and Historic Environment Scotland.

Tickets for the vigil can be booked here through the online ticketing site Eventbrite -  or by calling the ticket hotline on 0300 244 4000, Monday-Friday, 9.00am – 5:30pm.

For more information about the Somme Vigil and other  Scottish commemorations, visit WW100 Scotland.

Source: WW100 Scotland

Images courtesy of Imperial War Museums © IWM Q 746 (Seaforth Highlanders)

Posted by: CN Editorial Team