Remembrance Sunday is a day to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of those who served in the military, and Scotland, with its rich agricultural history, has a unique connection to this solemn occasion. As the nation comes together to remember the fallen, it's essential to reflect on the role of farmers and agriculture in times of war and peace.

Throughout Scotland's history, agriculture has played a pivotal role in supporting the country during times of conflict. During both World Wars, farmers and agricultural workers made significant contributions to the war effort. With many young men leaving the farms to join the armed forces, women and older farmers took on the responsibility of maintaining food production. Their efforts were vital in ensuring a consistent food supply for the nation.

The Scottish Women's Land Army, established during World War I and revived during World War II, exemplified the resilience and determination of women in agriculture. These "land girls" stepped up to fill the labour gap left by men who had gone to fight, working tirelessly in challenging conditions to cultivate crops and tend to livestock. Their contributions to the war effort were immeasurable, and their legacy is celebrated on Remembrance Sunday, along with the soldiers.

The Scottish Farmer: The Scottish Women's Land Army BookThe Scottish Women's Land Army Book

Agriculture's role in supporting the military extended beyond food production. Farms across Scotland provided critical resources for the war effort, from the timber used for trenches and transportation to the wool needed for uniforms. In many ways, the rural communities of Scotland formed the backbone of the nation's wartime logistics, ensuring the armed forces had the necessary supplies to defend the country.

It wasn't just in the fields and forests that the agricultural community made its mark. Many farmhouses and outbuildings were converted into hospitals, offering care to injured soldiers returning from the front lines. The compassion and dedication of these medical staff, often farmers' wives and daughters, were a testament to the strength and resilience of rural Scotland.

The Scottish Farmer: For your tomorrow we gave our today Bogertyhead, near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. The war memorial like a sentinel still stands on the top of Black Hill.For your tomorrow we gave our today Bogertyhead, near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. The war memorial like a sentinel still stands on the top of Black Hill.

On Remembrance Sunday, we remember not only the soldiers who fought on foreign shores but also those who worked tirelessly on the home front. The contributions of Scotland's farmers and the broader agricultural community must not be forgotten. They exemplify the spirit of unity and sacrifice that embodies the day.

Today, as Scotland continues to be blessed with fertile lands and dedicated farmers, it is crucial to recognize the enduring connection between agriculture and Remembrance Sunday. The poppy, a symbol of remembrance, also symbolizes the land itself, with its vivid red blossoms mirroring the poppy fields of Flanders. This poignant connection reinforces the strong bond between farmers, their land, and the soldiers who protected it.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to ensure that the agricultural community remains involved in Remembrance Sunday ceremonies. Local farming organisations and agricultural colleges often take part in events, demonstrating their ongoing commitment to honouring the sacrifices of the past.

Remembrance Sunday in Scotland serves as a day to honour the bravery of those who served and sacrificed. It is also a day to recognise the invaluable contributions of the agricultural community, whose hard work and dedication played a vital role during times of conflict. As we gather to remember the fallen, we must also remember the farmers and their unwavering commitment to their country, their land, and their fellow citizens. Their sacrifices, both on the field and the home front, are a testament to the enduring spirit of Scotland.

So, as we observe Remembrance Sunday, let us also honour the silent heroes of our agricultural history – the farmers and land workers who stood strong during times of conflict, tilling the soil, tending to livestock, and providing sustenance for our nation. They, too, played a crucial role in the defence of our land. Here's to the unwavering resilience of our agricultural community, past and present. May their dedication remind us of the strength and unity that can be found in our fields and farms, and may we continue to nurture and protect the rich agricultural traditions that sustain us. 

To the memory of our farming heroes, we raise our glasses. 

Lest we forget.

Darren Barley