Casualties

Casualties

Allan Old
There were over 2,300 West Lothian dead.

The exact number of casualties from West Lothian in the First World War is not easy to calculate. We’ve chosen to base our figures on the old county of West Lothian, as it was at the time of the War.

  • Some 690,235 Scots were mobilised. The exact number of Scottish deaths is not known, but estimates vary between 70,000 and over 150,000. As there are nearly 150,000 names on the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, that is the figure we’ve used for our calculations.

  • Scottish casualties were about 3% of the whole population of Scotland. If we take 3% of the total population of West Lothian in 1911 – 76,861 – we get a total of over 2,300 West Lothian dead.

  • We know that those who were killed represent about 20-25% of all those who served. So we can estimate that between 9,200 and 11,500 West Lothian men (and a few women) served in the forces during the First World War.

In 1911, there were 15,370 households in West Lothian. Many households sent more than one member to war, but it’s clear that the War directly affected over half the households in West Lothian, whether through bereavement, or through absence and anxiety.

©West Lothian Local History Library

In Fauldhouse, a special study was made of the Great War. The '1914-18: Fauldhouse Remembers' group gathered information from the local newspapers and military websites, and produced a database of some 520 names of men from Fauldhouse and its surrounding villages of East Benhar, Longridge and Levenseat, who served in the Great War. There are 110 names on the War Memorial, but another 20 were tentatively identified as deserving commemoration.

130 dead represents exactly one in four of the 520 men who served. In a small, tight-knit mining village like Fauldhouse, the death of so many of its young men must have caused immense grief and hardship.

©1914-18: Fauldhouse Remembers Group.

For more information on any aspect of West Lothian and the First World War, contact localhistory@westlothian.gov.uk.