Brave soldiers from across the North-east, who took part in one of the most famous battles of World War 1, will be among those remembered tomorrow on the 100th anniversary of the military offensive.
Events will be held across the country to mark the legacy of the 44 Scottish battalions and seven Scottish-named Canadian battalions who fought in the Battle of Arras.
British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front.
The offensive saw the highest number of Scottish troops recorded as fighting in a single battle during the Great War.
Taking place between April 9 and May 15 1917, Arras was part of a planned offensive by British and French forces.
Both nations faced massive losses – the average daily casualty rate was 4,076, which was higher than that at The Somme or the third Battle of Ypres.
Captain Chris McGinley, a Royal Naval Reserve, said as well as battalions such as the Gordon Highlanders, many volunteers – including those from Aberdeen – played a massive part in the battle.
Cpt McGinley said: “There were certainly any number of Scots who volunteered for the Royal Naval Division. One of the enlistment depots was on the Clyde and the records of dozens of the names on the Arras Memorial show the men came from Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Falkirk and Edinburgh.
“In 1914 all HM ships were fully manned and there was still a surplus of several thousand men.
“On April 9, as the Battle of Arras began, the various units of the Naval Division had been allocated to support other units rather than fight as a single body. The RND was sent to relieve some of the exhausted troops on the front line.”
Of the approximate total of 159,000 casualties, around a third were Scottish and of those Scots injured an estimated 18,000 lost their lives – the equivalent population of Peterhead.
The 7th Deeside Battalion Gordon Highlanders were on the front line – and the sad tale of one soldier captured the attention of the Duke of Rothesay in 2014.
Robert Duguid worked as a woods labourer at Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate before enlisting on March 3, 1915. Birkhall is now the Deeside retreat of Prince Charles.
It is understood the 20-year-old was killed in action at Arras on May 29, 1917 by an artillery shell. He died on the Western Front and was buried in an unmarked grave.
The prince was so moved by his story he has selected him as a typical example of the young men who went off to fight for their country from 1914-18 and never returned. Duguid’s story even featured in a roadshow project marking the centenary of World War 1.
International commemorations will be held tomorrow with a service at the Faubourg d’Amiens Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Arras, conducted by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
On the same evening in Edinburgh, a service will be held in the Scottish National War Memorial.