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Scottish Jews Serving Their Country

We will remember Jewish men and women who fought and died in wartime, showing material from the Archives Centre collections.  We will also take part in a UK-wide commemoration (led by the We Were There Too project) of the centenary of The British Jewry Book of Honour. Visitors will have the opportunity to view this impressive 1,000 page plus volume, which contains some 50,000 records of Jews who served in the armed forces during the conflict between 1914-1918, as well as a number of photographs.

Although many of the Jews in Scotland by the late 19th century were of immigrant birth or parentage, the community was anxious to show its loyalty to the British crown. As early as 1898, a Glasgow Jewish Volunteer Association was formed in Garnethill Synagogue, with Rev. EP Phillips as chaplain. A small number of Scottish Jews went to Africa to serve in the British Army in the South African and Boer Wars and some were killed on active service.

Many Scottish Jews served in the First World War, in Europe and also in the Middle East. Over 125 died. Again in the Second World War, many served in the British forces around the world, with almost 100 killed. Jews served in the Army, Navy and Air Force, but also in the Fire Service, the Land Army, the Women’s Timber Corps and as Bevin Boys. Rev. Dr. I.K. Cosgrove, long-term minister of Garnethill Hebrew Congregation, was Senior Jewish Chaplain to the armed forces in Scotland during the Second World War and a pioneer in interfaith relations in Glasgow.

Photo, copyright of SJAC. Photo captions: Jewish soldiers outside Graham Street Synagogue in Edinburgh, 1917


Booking is essential. We have a strict limit on numbers and only those that have prebooked will be able to attend the event.


Sunday 13th November, 2pm – 4pm


Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre, Garnethill Synagogue, 29 Garnet Street, Glasgow