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The entrance within Crown Square

The Scottish National War Memorial is located in Edinburgh Castle, and commemorates Scottish soldiers, and those serving with Scottish regiments, who died in the two world wars and in more recent conflicts. The monument was formally opened in 1927. It is housed in a redeveloped barrack block in Crown Square, at the heart of the castle, and incorporates numerous monuments.


Proposals for a Scottish National War Memorial were put forward in 1917, during the First World War, by John Stewart-Murray, 8th Duke of Atholl, and Capt George Swinton of Kimmerghame. Sir Robert Lorimer, one of the architects involved in the Imperial War Graves Commission,[1] was appointed in 1919, but opposition to a large-scale monument arose from the Cockburn Association and others concerned with the castle's heritage. A more modest scheme to remodel the North Barrack Block was finally agreed in 1923, and the memorial was formally opened on 14 July 1927 by the Prince of Wales.[2] After the Second World War 50,000 names were added to the rolls of honour with names still being added from successive conflicts; however, the memorial itself has been left unchanged.[2]

The Memorial[]

Scottish National War Memorial from the north, showing the shrine

The memorial's exterior is decorated with gargoyles and sculpture, while the interior contains monuments to individual regiments. The stained-glass windows are by Douglas Strachan.[3] Its original aims were to commemorate Scots and those serving with Scottish regiments who had died in the First World War, from its declaration to the treaty of Versailles of 28 June 1919 (confirmed military suicides and those tried and executed excepted). Upon the altar within the Shrine there is a sealed casket containing the Rolls of Honour which list over 147,000 names of those soldiers killed in the First World War together with open lists within the Hall.[4] After the Second World War the limiting dates were modified, with another 50,000 names inscribed on the Rolls of Honour within the Hall, and with further names continuing to be added there.[2]

The memorial is maintained by a charitable trust known as the Scottish National War Memorial.[5]


  1. Hussey, 1931; Dictionary of National Biography, 1937
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Henderson, Diana M. "History of the Scottish National War Memorial". Scottish National War Memorial. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  3. McWilliam et al, pp.99–100
  4. "Scottish National War Memorial". UK National Inventory of War Memorials. Retrieved 2011-05-03. 
  5. "Scottish National War Memorial, SC009869". Scottish Charity Register. Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  • McWilliam, Colin; Gifford, John; Walker, David (1984). Edinburgh. The Buildings of Scotland. Penguin. ISBN 9780140710687. 

External links[]