The Law Society of Scotland has unveiled the first national memorial to the Scottish lawyers who served and died in the First World War.
A dedication ceremony was held at the Law Society of Scotland's Edinburgh offices as part of a wider project to create a comprehensive record of all Scottish lawyers who fell during the war to create a lasting memorial recognising their sacrifice.
The project was instigated by Gillian Mawdsley, legal training adviser at the Judicial Institute for Scotland, and volunteers are now being sought to carry out research for the second stage of the initiative.
Mawdsley said: As the nation marks the centenary of the First World War, it is right that we should erect a memorial to those lawyers who gave their lives for their country.
'Before the Law Society was formed in 1949, lawyers were represented by local associations and faculties of procurators and solicitors so there was no one organisation that had a full register of all of their names. We know that many lawyers served together, having trained in officers’ training corps at school and university, and we are keen to assemble the records that do still exist into a coherent collection so we can remember and honour them.'
The society’s president, Alistair Morris, said: 'Members of the profession who died during the war have many memorials – in their schools, universities, and hometowns – but until now, there was no national recognition of them as lawyers. It is right and proper that a lasting memorial stands testament to their sacrifice.
'But while the plaque commemorates the contribution of the legal profession as a whole, more research is needed if we are to remember all their names. 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.'