26 May 2015
The First Minister attended memorial services in Gretna and Leith to honour those who died in the Quintinshill Disaster, which remains Britain’s most devastating rail crash in history.
At 6.49am on Saturday 22 May 1915, a Liverpool bound troop train carrying Scottish soldiers en route to Gallipoli collided head on with a local passenger train at Quintinshill just North of Gretna.
A minute later, a Glasgow bound express ploughed into the wreckage. In the fire that followed, 216 of the soldiers from the 1st/7th (Leith) Battalion, The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) and 12 others died.
The Princess Royal laid a wreath in Gretna in memory of those who died in the disaster 100 years ago and was joined at the rail siding by the First Minister for a memorial service. Ms Sturgeon also met descendants of survivors and family members of some of the people who were first on the scene on that fateful day.
— First Minister (@ScotGovFM) May 22, 2015
The following day in Leith, The Princess Royal, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and veterans attended a memorial service at Rosebank Cemetery in Leith
The Last Post was sounded and a moment of silence observed before additional names on the Roll of Honour were unveiled.
Troops then paraded along East Claremont Street where the Princess Royal, patron of the Royal Scots Association, took the salute.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The Quintinshill Disaster remains the country’s most devastating ever rail crash and the tragic loss of life will never be forgotten.
“Its impact still resonates on the communities of Gretna and Leith a century on and these memorial events are a fitting way to pay tribute to those who died.”