NQ Scottish History

Impact of the Great War, 1914-1928

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Scotland made a significant contribution to the fighting and winning of the First World War, and the war has had just as big an impact on Scotland.

Scotland’s industries, which were in full demand during the fighting, soon declined after the hostilities and the attrition of its population to fighting gave way to another kind of attrition, through emigration.

Social injustices and changing attitudes towards Scottish identity also caused a permanent change in the country’s political landscape.

Please note: This resource is primarily aimed at teachers and learners studying SQA History Units covering the war at the Western Front, and highlights those who played a prolonged and major part in this aspect of the war. Education Scotland will develop resources on other major conflicts and the contributions of those divisions involved as the period of 100 years of commemorations continues.

1) Background

  • Social and economic conditions
  • Key social and political issues
  • Scottish martial tradition

2) Scots on the Western Front

  • The Scottish regiments
  • Scotland’s casualties
  • General Haig

3) Domestic impact of war on society and culture

  • Scotland’s resilience
  • The role of women
  • Rent strikes

4) Domestic impact of war on industry and economy

  • Scotland’s industrial contribution
  • Government policies
  • The post-war depression

5) Domestic impact of war on politics

  • Scotland’s Liberal leanings
  • Red Clydeside
  • The rise of socialism

6) Perspective

  • War memorials
  • War literature
  • Scotland’s sense of identity

Classroom materials

These are documents which are considered integral to the coursework and can be downloaded for use in conjunction with the information and resources provided on this website.

Video resources

These videos provide additional insight into the people, events and historical context of this topic.

Audio resources

Listen to a selection of interviews and readings which relate to Scotland and the Great War.

Historical documents

These online interactive historical documents have been produced from the archives of the National Archives of Scotland.

WW1 Teacher Forum

A secure online community where teachers who are involved in WW1 education can share and discuss approaches to teaching and learning. (Glow log-in required)