This year will see the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War (the Great War, the 1914 – 1918 War, the War to end all Wars). Everyone is familiar with the words, photos and films that came out of that first war. The horrors of the trenches, the shelling, the “going over the top” and the images of thousands of men being mown down by machine guns. It was the first mechanised war with the first use of lorries, aircraft and tanks, and the last war to see the widespread use of horses in the field of battle.

Yes, we are all only too familiar with the images of WWI but how did it all start? The usual trite answer is that it was caused by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo on the 28 June 1914. That was, however, just the spark that lit the fuse of the powder keg that was Europe at the time. The ensuing War affected everyday life world-wide, including that of the people of Keith and Strathisla.