Thousands of poppies mark Battle of Arras centenary

Each of the 46,000 dropped petals represented a Scot killed or wounded at the battle.

Poignant: Arras was one of the war's bloodiest battles. Poppyscotland

Thousands of poppy petals have been released from the top of the Wallace Monument to mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of the Battle of Arras.

Poppyscotland dropped 46,000 petals from the landmark in Stirling at precisely 11am on Tuesday.

Each represented a Scottish soldier who was killed or wounded during the battle in northern France.

The occasion was also commemorated with a service and wreath-laying ceremony led by Legion Scotland.

The Battle of Arras had the greatest concentration of Scottish battalions of any during the First World War. 

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Three Scottish infantry divisions took part in the assault and, of the 120 participating British infantry battalions, 44 were from Scottish regiments.

It was also one of the bloodiest battles of the war, with more than 250,000 combatants killed or wounded during five weeks of fighting.

Gordon Michie, head of fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: "The sight of thousands of poppy petals gently fluttering to earth was a dramatic and fitting way to mark the centenary of the Battle of Arras.

"It was also a moment to remember those for whom the poppy is a symbol of hope today and to show our support for the armed forces community living in Scotland."

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Stacey Burlet, Stirling Council's communities director, said: "The poppy petal cascade at the National Wallace Monument was a memorable and fitting tribute to those who bravely fought in the Battle of Arras.

"It was a stunning yet thought-provoking display, providing an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the value of democracy and times of peace."

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