Scots at War - Black Watch Bren Gunner

The Scottish soldier

This series of videos, by one of our members,Ruadhán Scrivener-Anderson gives an excellent insight into the weapons, equipment, tactics etc used by the Scottish soldier in the early days of the Great War. 

More Information

If you'd like to to view more informational videos on various aspects of a soldiers life at war, please follow the link below.


The officer's valise and contents

In this video we take a look at the equipment carried by First World War British officers in their valises as part of their 35lbs baggage allowance, according to the 1914 Field Service Pocket Book.

Officers uniform & equipment

In this video, we look at the basic kit an officer in 1914 had to provide himself with after commissioning, and various extra items which proved popular amongst subalterns at the front.


Whistle Signals

We're all familiar with the "trench whistle" which signalled thousands of men to go "over the top" during the Great War, but what did the whistle signals actually sound like?

In this video, we look at the system of whistle signals introduced in 1905, and the reasons for it's adoption.

Defensive Positions

What came before the trenches? How did the British Expeditionary Force prepare to fight when the enemy assumed the offensive? In this video we look at how defences were constructed before the advent of trench warfare, and just how advanced the tactical thinking behind them was.

Fighting in close country

In this video we look at methods for fighting in close country, and for the assault on a wood.

Barbed Wire & Booby Traps

Barbed wire was a defining feature of the First World War. So how was it used? And how did the British Expeditionary Force prevent it from being cut?In this video, we construct a short section of wire entanglement according to the 1911 Manual of Field Engineering to find out!

The Fighting Retreat

For the British Army, the First World War began with a retreat, but how was a fighting withdrawl actually carried out?

The Advance and Assault in Extended Order

In this video, we look at the advance by fire, and the assault with the bayonet, in order to understand exactly how an attack was conducted in this period.

Fighting Cavalry

By 1914 it was increasingly accepted by both the British and German armies that the days of mass cavalry charges were at their ebb, and protection and reconnaissance became the principle duties of mounted troops. However, even in this more limited role, they were still a formidable presence on the battlefield. So, how did the British Infantry defend themselves against cavalry?

Hand Signals for Skirmishing

As an appendix to the video on the advance and assault in extended order, this video demonstrates the various hand and weapon signals used by commanders and scouts in the field.