The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the Great War
Today we are as far away from the First World War as the Edwardians were from the Battle of Waterloo, but it casts a shadow over Scottish life that was never produced by the wars against Napoleon. The country and its people were changed forever by the events of 1914-1918. Once the workshop of the empire and an important source of manpower for the colonies, after the war, Scotland became something of an industrial and financial backwater. Emigration increased as morale slumped in the face of economic stagnation and decline. The country had paid a disproportionately high price in casualties. There was a sudden crisis of national self-confidence, leading one commentator to suggest in 1927 that the Scots are a dying race.