The Scots were heavily involved in the Battle of the Somme and suffered heavy casualties as a result. • The Scots battalions were often used as impact units – in the first wave of attacks.
3 Scottish Divisions involved – 9th 15th (Scottish) and the 51st (Highland) 51 Scottish Battalions took part in the Somme offensive at some time.
McCrae’s Battalion (16th Royal Scots) • McCrae’s Battalion was the Edinburgh Battalion formed in Dec ember 1914. It was made famous when 13 of the Hearts football team joined. • The Battalion lost 12 officers and 573 soldiers in the first wave of the attack, which began on the 1st July. The Hearts team just before the Battle of the Somme, 1916
The memorial to McCrae’s Battalion in the village of Contalmaison
Two of the Hearts’ players were killed before the battle. • Three more died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. • Two others were killed in August 1916 and April 1917, making a total of seven overall.
51st (Highland) Division • Suffered 3,500 casualties in mid July in the second main wave of attack on the Germans at High Wood. This was a bitter disappointment. • Later involved in a successful attack on Beaumont Hamel in Nov 1916. • Beaumont Hamel had been one of the first day objectives of the battle, but had never been taken. • Division took the German front line with only 2,200 casualties. (Compared to 5,100 casualties on 1st July). The memorial to the 51st (Highland ) Division at Beaumont Hamel.