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Memorials and location: Local versus national identity and the Scottish National War Memorial

Macleod, Jenny



This article seeks to explore the controversy surrounding the Scottish National War Memorial. It analyses the arguments over the design of the memorial and its impact on Edinburgh Castle. The criticisms by Lord Rosebery and others of the design proposed by Robert Lorimer are dealt with in detail. The campaign by the Duke of Atholl to raise money for the memorial is scrutinised and the difficulties in securing donations at a time when there were many simultaneous attempts to raise money for local and institutional memorials is discussed. The article attempts to relate this material to the wider literature on war memorials in the period immediately following the First World War. The main theme of the article is to note the way in which the memorial at the Castle came to be accepted as a 'national' memorial and how this process relates to the formation and maintenance of Scottish national identity in the 1920s. As highlighted by comparison with the other national memorials, the Scottish National War Memorial ultimately serves to show the unity of the Scottish nation and the ongoing strength of its martial tradition, a means by which Scotland could express a distinctive identity whilst remaining securely within the United Kingdom.


Macleod, J. (2010). Memorials and location: Local versus national identity and the Scottish National War Memorial. Scottish Historical Review, 89(1), 73-95.

Journal Article Type Review
Online Publication Date Jun 1, 2010
Publication Date 2010-04
Print ISSN 0036-9241
Electronic ISSN 1750-0222
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 89
Issue 1
Pages 73-95
Keywords History
Public URL
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