Elsie Inglis headstone gets set for makeover

Chris Armstrong of the Co-Op with the stone. Picture: Greg Macvean
Chris Armstrong of the Co-Op with the stone. Picture: Greg Macvean
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THE badly-faded headstone of Edinburgh heroine Elsie Inglis is going to be restored – after a funeral firm read of its state in the Evening News.

Last week, we revealed campaigners were horrified at the condition of the pioneering doctor and suffragist’s headstone within the Dean Cemetery. Support flooded in for it to be repaired, with some even calling for Inglis to be commemorated with a statue.

Elsie Inglis. Picture: contributed

Elsie Inglis. Picture: contributed

Now, Scotmid Co-operative Funeral Directors have agreed to renovate the memorial, clean it and repaint the lettering.

Head of funerals at Scotmid James Blackburn said: “When we read the article about Elsie Inglis’ memorial we were very moved and wanted to help.

“Scotmid Co-operative can trace its history back to 1859 in Edinburgh as St Cuthbert’s 
Co-operative Association, so to be able to restore a vital piece of our city’s story seemed very appropriate. Elsie was a true pioneer and she is tremendously important to the history of Edinburgh, and indeed, to Scotland.

“We have a stonemason who will clean and renovate her memorial and repaint the lettering so it is legible again. We are looking forward to unveiling the renovated memorial in the next few weeks and we hope it will encourage the community to find out more about Elsie and her story.” Inglis, pictured below and named the second greatest city citizen by the Evening News – risked her life to save those of countless soldiers on the battlefields of First World Europe.

Alan Cumming of the The Scottish Women’s Hospitals Trust, named after the institution set up by Inglis, said it was a ‘great gesture’. “We’re delighted that a firm from the community has come forward to do this,” he said. “It really shows the high regard in which Elsie Inglis is held, that they’ve have stepped in to help in this way and so quickly, especially in times where many businesses are under financial pressure.”

Born in India, Inglis was 14 when her parents came to the Capital, where she established the George Square Nursing Home in 1890, which eventually merged with the Bruntsfield Hospital to provide a completely women’s health service in the city for the first time.