The First World War at the Scottish Football Museum…
The Scottish Football Museum will commemorate the First World War with a dedicated display funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum secured £7,400 from HLF to create the display which highlights the role of football during the First World War.
One of the most important exhibits within the entire exhibition is the Colour of the 16th (Service) Battalion Royal Scots (McCrae’s Own) which tells the story of the footballers from Heart of Midlothian FC as well as players from other clubs who enlisted to serve under Edinburgh businessman Sir George McCrae. The Colour has been loaned from the Royal Scots Museum at Edinburgh Castle. Also on display is a spent German shell casing which was used by the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders as an inter-company football trophy between 1915 and 1917. The outer casing of the shell is engraved with the regimental crest and includes the title of the football tournament. The shell appears to date from 1915 when the 2nd Battalion saw fierce fighting at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and the Battle of Loos. The First World War display also tells the story of former Celtic player Willie Angus who won the Victoria Cross whilst serving with the Royal Scots and explores the impact of the war on football back home in Scotland with a display on the Munitionette football teams, created by women working in the munitions factories.
The First World War display forms part of a bigger exhibition called…
Football on Parade
The story of football in Scottish regiments, 1851 – 2014
The broader exhibition starts off with a display on the world’s oldest football trophy, a wonderful silver medallion won by the 93rd Highlanders when they defeated the Edinburgh University Football Club in 1851. Three years later many of the triumphant footballers were helping to form the ‘thin red line’ when the 93rd Regiment withstood a Russian cavalry charge during the Crimean War. The medallion has been loaned from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle.
The exhibition includes objects from India’s prestigious Durand Cup competition, the oldest national cup competition out with the UK. The original Durand Cup which was won by the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the inaugural final of 1888 was later won three times in succession by the Highland Light Infantry who were given the trophy to keep. A second Durand Cup was put forward for competition and this was won three years in succession by the Black Watch who also got to keep the trophy! Both trophies are displayed together for the first time, thanks to the Royal Highland Fusiliers Museum and the Black Watch Museum.
The exhibition features a collection of Army Cup miniatures which were presented to Scottish regiments as a keepsake for winning the prestigious competition. The biggest of these miniatures belongs to the Kings Own Scottish Borderers who won the trophy in 1929 and it is displayed alongside the match ball, thanks to the KOSB Museum who are based in Berwick-upon-Tweed. In creating the exhibition the Scottish Football Museum has had the support of all of Scotland’s major regimental museums as well as the Royal Regiment of Scotland.