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Plaque marks WW1 lawyer dead

13 April 15

The first national memorial to lawyers who died in combat in the First World War has been unveiled

The first national memorial to the Scottish lawyers who served and died in the First World War has been erected to mark their sacrifice.

The plaque was unveiled in the Council room at the Law Society of Scotland’s offices during a dedication ceremony at the end of March. Volunteers are now being sought for the next stage, which aims to create a comprehensive record of those who served and fell.

Generally, lawyers served as second lieutenants – junior officers who suffered a high death toll. At one time, survival rates on the Western Front were said to be as low as six weeks.

Before 1949, lawyers were represented by local associations and faculties of procurators and solicitors, and the Society is keen to assemble such records as still exist into a coherent collection.

The project to create a lasting memorial to the sacrifice of fellow professionals was instigated by Gillian Mawdsley, the JP legal training adviser at the Judicial Institute for Scotland. She said: “As the nation marks the centenary of World War 1, it is right that we should erect a memorial to those lawyers who gave their lives for their country.”

“It is difficult to identify all the lawyers who died, but there are other ways of remembering their contribution.”

The Society’s President, Alistair Morris, added: “Our hope is the plaque will act as a focal point, encouraging amateur historians – with the help of faculties, societies, associations, universities, schools and the families of those who served – to carry out further research and allow us to build a comprehensive record of the military service of our profession.

“The Society will then draw this together towards the end of 2015 in a book of remembrance and online resource, providing a valuable tool for future research and study.”

More information is available via www.lawscot.org.uk/warmemorial, and anyone with any research to share is encouraged to email warmemorial@lawscot.org.uk
Image: (left) President Alistair Morris and Wing Commander Allan Steele unveil the plaque 

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