A SCOTS academic who led a global commemoration of the First World War has warned its lessons are in danger of being forgotten.

Neil McLennan, from the University of Aberdeen, believes renewed efforts must be made to make sure the war is never repeated.

“There is a risk that the First World War will become what the Napoleonic Wars have become - distant and largely forgotten,” said McLennan, founder of the iPlay4Peace initiative.

Formed last year, iPlay4Peace bringing together a global orchestra of volunteer musicians to play the same music together at the same time on Remembrance Sunday.

Yesterday musicians from around the world joined the global orchestra, which was coordinated by a concert at Edinburgh Napier University.

The pieces of music selected for this year’s concert were Battling for Peace by University of Aberdeen music student Anthony White, Winning the Peace by Scots fiddler Paul Anderson, and The Good Friday Agreement by London-based composer Clare Paddi-Salters.

McLennan said yesterday’s Remembrance Day held special significance for two reasons.

“It is the first Armistice Day remembrance since four emotive years of First World War centennial commemorations and we have no veterans left to recall the horrors of that war,” he said. “All we have is ‘remembrance’ of something none of us experienced but lessons from which we must learn. It was the first time the world had gone to war. Its reach, scale, and catastrophic impact was all encompassing. It must never be forgotten. And we must work to make sure it is never repeated.”

He said the first Remembrance Sunday in 1919 was clearly significant - a “sigh of relief after four years of war, a celebration for some and collectively a sombre commemoration of the fallen”.

“The year 1919 saw the Treaty of Versailles signed and the Paris Peace Conferences attempt to piece a broken world back together again. The peacemakers’ task presented as many challenges as it did opportunities.” McLennan added that it was “interesting” to reflect on the time is spent commemorating the war, compared with how little time is spent reflecting on the peace and peace-making. “War poet Wilfred Owen reminded us ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’ was an old lie,” he said. “All war is hell. Now we must ensure peace is promoted and prevails.”

The other significance of this year’s Remembrance Day has been the second year of the international orchestra playing in harmony and promoting cooperation across borders, according to McLennan.

Last year 45 locations across the world joined #iPlay4Peace with innovative technology, supported by Edinburgh Napier University.

“This year musicians joined from North America to Asia and from Shetland to South Africa,” said McLennan. “Their efforts demonstrate what can be done cooperatively and how we can link across borders. These symbols are important as we see a world fragment, despite being closer than ever. Sadly, horrors from recent and current conflicts continue, “We must remember and respond.”