The Battle of Bannockburn remains one of the most significant events in Scottish history. In June 2014, the 700th anniversary was commemorated. The occasion was marked with large scale re-enactments, a live festival, exhibitions, and the arrival of clan members from across Scotland.
June 1914 saw the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the battle. Within the records held at the Archives relating to the Burgh of Stirling there is a detailed description of all the events held in a colourful programme produced for the day. The events held in 1914 turn out to have been remarkably similar to those of 2014!
Plans to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn began to take shape in October 1913. A meeting, organised by Stirling’s Burgh Council, was held on the 17th October in the Lesser Albert Halls. Invitations to this meeting were handed out to members of associations and public bodies who ‘in one way or another, are representative of Scottish national feeling, or are interested locality in which the Battle was fought’ a week prior to the date of the first meeting.
The meeting resulted in a series of proposals outlined by a report produced on the same day. It was hoped to hold a procession and that a permanent memorial could be built, leaving a lasting legacy from the commemoration of the anniversary. A school holiday was even planned with contact being made to local School Boards to make arrangements.
In the end, the anniversary was commemorated over three days. On Friday 26th June a ‘Grand National Concert’ was held in the Albert Hall in Stirling. Artists included Robert Burnett, an established Scottish Baritone, and Roderick McLeod, a famous Gaelic Tenor.
Saturday 27th June was reserved for a procession, demonstration and a banquet. The procession left King’s Park at 3pm and marched to the Borestone by Park Avenue, returning to Kings Park via St Ninian’s Road. Local bands included the Cowie Pipe Band, the Stirling Burgh Band and the Clackmannan Pipe Band. The local Scouts and Boys’ Brigade also formed part of the procession. The banquet took place in the Public Hall at Albert Place. An oration was delivered by Sir Geoerge Douglas of Kelso and Stirling’s Provost, David Bayne. To finish the commemoration, a Young People’s Service and Church Parade took place on Sunday 28th June.