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The loss of life affected every social class. Herbert Asquith, who had been Prime Minister at the outbreak of the war, lost his son Raymond. Andrew Bonar Law, the Canadian-born son of a Scottish clergyman, was a Scottish MP and wartime Chancellor of the Exchequer. He lost two sons. John Buchan, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Lauder lost beloved members of their families. Death was not selective and grieving and distraught families, lovers and friends turned to a variety of beliefs and rituals to accommodate their loss.

As an outward demonstration of collective grief, during the war, street shrines became popular in cities, towns and villages. They were constructed by the local community, and varied in size, craftsmanship and content. Some were wooden boards or thick wooden or metal plaques, which had the names of the war dead inscribed, painted or carved on them. They were erected as a labour of love and were maintained by communal grief. They were later replaced by official monuments and civic memorials.

One of Scotland's most remote WW1 memorials is in West Sutherland. There are no access roads to the  memorial  and it can only be reached by sailing up Loch Glencoul.

The locations of many Scottish memorials signify the remoteness of the land from where many of the volunteers and recruits came. The Highland and Island communities had a significant reduction in returning and able-bodied men. However, the total number of war related deaths in Scotland and the men and women from the Scottish Diaspora who served in Dominion or other Forces has yet to be fully established.   


The Machinery of War window in the Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.

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