Veterans Minister attends Somme commemorations.
The role played by professional footballers, and the many others who served at the Battle of the Somme, has been marked at a ceremony in France.
As part of his Ministerial Duties, Graeme took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the McCrae’s Battalion Cairn in Contalmaison, as part of the memorial events to mark the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Representatives from clubs including Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Falkirk, Dunfermline, and Raith Rovers regularly attend the annual event.
During his visit Graeme also met with the Mayor of Arras, Frédérique Leturque, as part of the Scottish Government’s European engagement work, which aims to strengthen ties with priority EU countries and their regions.
The 1,350 strong McCrae’s Battalion, led by Sir George McCrae, was formed in Edinburgh and included volunteers from Heart of Midlothian, Raith Rovers, Falkirk, Dunfermline, Hibernian, St Bernard’s and East Fife. In all around 75 clubs (of all levels) provided volunteers along with many other athletes and football supporters most notably of Hearts and Hibernian.
The Battle of the Somme eventually lasted for 141 days. Some 20,000 soldiers were killed in the initial assault on 1 July 2016 with a further 30,000 wounded.