Remembrance: A Commemorative Reading

7 November 2018, 6.30pm

University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel


Readings from Scottish Literature to remember the End of the First World War

‘This world that we seem to inherit’

Towards the end of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s novel Sunset Song, the minister remembering the four local men who died in the First World War says this: ‘They died for a world that is past, these men, but they did not die for this that we seem to inherit.’ What did he mean? Perhaps simply that this world we inherit is up to us to make better, and if the people who died in the war died for something of value, perhaps for what they thought was best in their own lives, what they held most dear and wished to keep vital and available for future generations, they could have no idea about what was coming after them. So that our job, here and now, remembering them, is to keep that edge in mind. This world we inherit is ours to improve, for the sake of the dead, as well as for that of the unborn to come. So it’s worth pausing to consider some of the voices and energies in the words written down at the time, and since.

Themes addressed in the readings include early-war enthusiasm; the Home Front; women and war; soldiering; parody and protest; remembering.

Readings include poetry and prose by Charles Murray, James Ramsay Macdonald, Charles Hamilton Sorley, Violet Jacob, Eunice G. Murray, Archibald Allan Bowman, Joseph Lee, Roderick Watson Kerr, Patrick McGill, Ewart Allan Mackintosh, John MacDougall Hay, Marion Angus, J.B. Salmond, John Buchan, C.M. Grieve (Hugh MacDiarmid), Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell) and Edwin Morgan.

Readers: Alan Riach, Corey Gibson, David Goldie, Louise Welsh, Stuart MacQuarrie