Poppyscotland and Legion Scotland have launched a mass movement to say ‘Thank You’ to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world during the First World War…

With fewer than 100 days to go until 11th November, the charities are calling on mass involvement from the public to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

To launch the Thank You movement, a giant installation of eight-foot-high illustrated letters appeared in Dundee’s City Square. The public were invited to write their own personal messages of thanks directly on to the installation.

Dundee was chosen for the Scottish launch of Thank You as the city exemplified the collective effort made across Scotland, Britain and the Commonwealth, not only on the front line, but, importantly, on the home front as well.

The city had among the highest enrolment rate of any town in Britain, with an estimated 63% of eligible men signing up. This equated to 30,490; more than 4,200 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice and thousands more who returned with devastating injuries. As a result of the high enrolment rate, women quickly answered the call and entered the many jute and munitions factories, and various engineering works.

Women also took on other roles which had previously been the reserve of men, and Dundee was one of the first cities to see female post office workers and police officers on the beat, and, by 1917, they were employed across the tramway system.

Dundee had long been known as the ‘women’s city’, but, during the War, many more women were drafted into the War-time labour force, including hundreds of redundant ‘fisher lassies’ from the fishing towns around the north-east of Scotland and the Island of Lewis in the west.

Speaking at the launch, Dundee Lord Provost Ian Borthwick said: “Of course we remember those who selflessly answered the call and served their country so bravely, but the Thank You movement is also an opportunity to recognise the contributions of other groups that are often overlooked. Thousands of Dundonian women took up vital roles in the city’s factories, as they did the length and breadth of the country.”

Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive of Poppyscotland, said: “Whether your personal ‘Thank You’ is an event dedicated to those who made a difference in your community, a visit to a place of significance, or a simple tweet, there’s no limit to the ways people can take part. We are making a plea to every single person across Scotland to get involved and take a moment in this very significant year to say ‘Thank You’.”