Aberdeen iCentre is battle ready

Some of the medals that will be on display
Some of the medals that will be on display

World War One re-enactors as well as historical artefacts from the trenches, including helmets and rifles, will form part of an open day being held at Aberdeen’s VisitScotland iCentre.

The event, from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday, August 26, is being held in partnership with the Gordon Highlanders Museum, which is located in the city’s Viewfield Road, and ties in with Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

The museum – a local charity - tells the dramatic 200-year history of the regiment from the Napoleonic Wars, India, Afghanistan and South Africa, through to both World Wars and the Cold War.

It features interactive maps, original film footage, scale reproductions, life-size models, touch screens, regimental colours, uniforms, medals and weapons are all featured to bring the unique history of The Gordon Highlanders to life.

During the 100th anniversary of The Great War and the Battle of Passchendaele, people are invited to go along to the iCentre in Aberdeen’s Union Street and learn more about The Gordon Highlanders – Aberdeen’s local regiment.

There will be a ‘handling table’ where visitors can get up close to the museum’s WWI artefacts, including trench art made 100 years ago, gas masks used in the trenches, machine guns, helmets and rifles; as well as getting their picture taken in the ‘photo booth’ with a historical background and period dressing up items.

WWI re-enactors The Great War Boys will also be in attendance to meet and chat to visitors and there will be an opportunity for visitors to have their photo taken in uniform with them in the photo booth.

There will also be a range of items, such as a Princess Mary Christmas tin supplied by the Princess to the men in the trenches over Christmas, housing things such as Christmas cards and chocolate. There will also be a collection of the uniforms and equipment soldiers carried with them at the front line, such as their food rations and toiletry kits.

Jo Robinson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This event ties in perfectly with Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and we hope it will attract visitors in to the iCentre to learn more about the Gordon Highlanders Museum - the only VisitScotland Five Star attraction in Aberdeen.

“The museum does an excellent job of highlighting the importance of this very famous regiment and its links to Aberdeen and we are delighted to be working with them, whilst also showcasing the city to visitors.

“This year, we celebrate the richness of Scotland's intriguing history, impressive cultural heritage and fascinating archaeology and this event allows visitors a peek into the past in the very modern surroundings of VisitScotland’s fantastic iCentre in Aberdeen.

“We promote Scotland with Scotland. Partnership and collaboration is at the heart of Scottish tourism and VisitScotland works with local industry to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy.”

Lewis Gibbon, Gordon Highlanders Museum’s Learning Officer, said: “The museum is pleased to be supporting Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology especially in this, the museum’s 20th anniversary year.

“This event at the Aberdeen iCentre will allow visitors to see some amazing artefacts used by the Gordon Highlanders during the Great War, offer the opportunity to dress up in World War One uniform and will be a fantastic chance to see and handle these items outside of the museum environment.”