Local residents and visitors to Fife, Edinburgh and The Lothians are being urged to get along to South Queensferry this Saturday 28 May for a series of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the First World War.
Members of the public are encouraged to line Hawes Esplanade from around 2:00pm, where they can hear stories from descendants of those who fought in the battle and watch a specially created film made by the Queensferry community about how the local area was affected by the war on a large outdoor screen.
At around 3:00pm, a live broadcast of the commemorative service taking place in South Queensferry Cemetery will be shown on the screen, before VIPs including HRH The Princess Royal and Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland will join the public at the Pier.
The Band of HM Royal Marines (Scotland) will perform the Beating Retreat and ceremonial sunset, before HMS Kent takes departure as a reference to the departure of the Battle-Cruiser Force 100 years ago, alongside the iconic vessel MV Fingal, dazzle painted by artist Ciara Phillips. HRH will unveil a commemorative plaque which will later take permanent place at South Queensferry’s shore.
Families are also urged to visit the Dazzle Village at Hawes Pier car park, where children can learn about Dazzle Ships, paint their own, and even have their faces dazzle painted. Children can also create their own Dazzle Ships at a drop-in session at South Queensferry Library from 10:00am – 1:00pm, where they can also visit a small exhibition and borrow from a range of specially selected books. Queensferry shops along the High Street will also be getting in on the action, displaying brightly-coloured Dazzle Ships painted by local children with the creative addition of some battleship names. Members of the public are invited to try and spot all the names and note them on an entry form to be in with a chance of winning the prize draw.
Also on offer at Hawes Esplanade will be a taster sample of the Queensferry History Group’s “Queensferry at War” exhibition, currently on display at Queensferry Museum; the Fire and Rescue Service mobile museum featuring a WW1 exhibit with hands-on activities; and a dedicated Queensferry Sea Cadets tent to learn more about what they do and their role in the Jutland Commemorations.
To end a poignant day of commemoration, the Band of HM Royal Marines (Scotland) will lead the community on a parade through the streets to South Queensferry Priory Church for a short service at 5.20pm.
The Priory Church will also be hosting a series of exhibitions, film screenings and talks.
Those wishing to attend should note that there will be parking restrictions in place at the Hawes Esplanade, and that the High Street and Newhalls Road will be closed to traffic in the afternoon. Visitors are urged to walk or use public transport whenever possible.
For more information, visit www.visitqueensferry.com.