Scots in Great War London

Scots in the Great War

Ten London Scottish organisations came together to mark the Centenary of the Armistice that ended the Great War and recognise the Scottish contribution during that time. They have published a commemorative book and held a series of events. The Caledonian Society of London played a full part in this project.

A Community at Home and on the Frontline

To mark the efforts of these organisations during the First World War, including churches, regiments and clubs, a book, Scots in Great War London, was launched on 26th June. There are many stories of heroism and kindness, including the hospitality for 50,000 Scottish troops on their way to and from the trenches in France and Flanders. They were fed and entertained at St Columba's Church of Scotland in Knightsbridge between 1915 and 1919. This extraordinary effort, led largely by women at the church, has not till now been fully described or recognised.

Stories of members killed in action are recounted, including those from Crown Court Church of Scotland in Covent Garden. Lord Kinnaird, an early star of football in England, was a member at Crown Court and lost two sons during the war. Three quarters of the 60 players who turned out for London Scottish in the last matches before the outbreak of war never returned. The London Scottish Regiment was the first territorial unit to see action in the war, having been thrown into battle near Ypres in October 1914. It's soldiers included many members of Scottish churches and clubs in London. The support given to Scots in London by the 400 year-old Royal Scottish Corporation (now ScotsCare) is also highlighted.

Hugh Cowan, our former historian, has written the chapter on the contribution of the Caledonian Society of London.

The book is availabe to buy on Amazon by clicking on the link below:

Purchase from Amazon

SiGWL Book Flyer

Programme of Events

20th September 2018 – Reception to promote the Commemorative Book: a joint Society and Caledonian Club event, with Hugh Pym of the BBC.

2nd October 2018 – The Caledonian Lecture on Field Marshal Earl Haig by Professor Gary Sheffield.

18th October 2018This is my life: Royal Caledonian Education Trust Theatre production at St. Columba’s Church of Scotland, for 1,000 Kensington and Chelsea schoolchildren.

20th October 2018 Feeding the 50,000: St. Columba’s First World War Story in Words and Music.

October 2018 – Commemorative fixture at London Scottish Football Club.

11th November 2018 – Remembrance Day: Sunday Services at St. Columba’s and Crown Court Churches. London Scottish Regiment Church Parade.

15th November 2018 – Society Little Dinner with the Sentiment delivered by Professor Sir Hew Strachan, Lord Lieutenant of Tweeddale, on The Armistice and After, with pipes and drums from the London Scottish Regiment.

17th November 2018 – Family Ceilidh at St. Columba’s Church.

10th -12th May 2019 – First World War Battlefields Tour: arranged, on behalf of the Society, by Keith Robertson and Andy Parsons.

Eighteen members of the Caledonian Society of London travelled to Ypres for a visit some of the sites of importance to the Scottish Division and the London Scottish Regiment.

In the evening a wreath was laid at the Menin Gate by the President Malcolm Noble, Past President Keith Robertson and the Honorary Secretary Neil McNair. During the ceremony Piper Andy Parsons played a lament, in front of over 1,000 people who had gathered to pay their respects to the fallen of World War 1.

The Tour was arranged, on behalf of the Society, by Keith Robertson and Andy Parsons.

Wreath Ceremony

Wreath Laying Ceremony

For more information and photographs about the tour, click on the link below:


Malcolm Noble
Senior Vice President: The Caledonian Society of London.

SiGWL organisations

For more information relating to each organisation's involvement in the Great war, please click on the link below their emblem.

St Columba's Church

London Scottish Regiment


London Scottish FC

Caledonian Society of London

Crown Court Church

Caledonian Club

Burns Club of London

Royal Caledonian Education Trust

Scots Guards