Leader: ‘We could not stand by and see them lost’

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as we near the centenary of the First World War next year, news today that a historic 
 Edinburgh link to the Great War is to be preserved could not be more timely.

The Evening News has been campaigning for the trenches at Dreghorn Woods to be saved ever since it emerged they were at risk of disappearing forever.

We could not stand by and watch the trenches being lost to nature for the sake of a relatively small investment.

The site may have only played a small role in training thousands of young men before they left for the killing fields of France, but today they represent so much more.

They are a tangible piece of history with which to ensure both the story of the First World War and the role played by men from across Edinburgh and the Lothians is never forgotten.

It is somewhere that the history books can come alive for schoolchildren, where they can be taught how young men, many not much older than themselves, trained before being sent into the unknown, many of them never to return.

Indeed, the Dreghorn trenches can become an inspiring memorial to those men who, almost 100 years ago, stood there as they had their first taste of what awaited them.

Surely nothing would have prepared them for the horror which they would ultimately face.

Today’s news will hopefully mean every school pupil in the south-east of Scotland will be able to visit and learn at first hand about the sacrifices their forbearers made.

The MoD, city council and not least historian Lynne 
Gladstone-Millar, whose father, William Ewart Gladstone-Millar, was trained at Dreghorn, have all played a role in ensuring the trenches will be preserved and restored.

They all deserve our thanks today for ensuring a small piece of the Capital’s history can live on for future generations.