Homeless Edinburgh soldier of Waverley Steps dies aged 47

HE was a familiar sight on the streets of Edinburgh, more often than not perched at the top of the city's Waverley Steps, quietly hoping someone would spare him a few quid as he lived out life sleeping rough.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 8:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 8:37 am

But it was confirmed today that former soldier Darren Greenfield, 47, has died.

Friends of the veteran described it as “tragic” revealing they had reached out to offer support, before he was admitted to hospital where he passed away.

He had proudly served with the Royal Tank Regiment, but fell on hard times when he left.

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Darren Greenfield was frequently seen on the Waverley Steps. Picture: Facebook

Yet he sat in his position most days, cardboard sign signed off with ‘God bless; politely asking for help or a few coins in his trademark wooly hats, striking up a rapport with many who saw him on a daily basis.

In a tweet, support group Soldiers Off the Street said: “Luckily not many homeless veterans refuse help when offered.

“Sadly one ex Royal Tank Darren who sat at the top of the Waverly Steps in Edinburgh sadly died on the 17th December after refusing help from Soldiers Off the Street.

“SSAFA and others tried helping him but we think the streets was his only way of living and coping with life.

Darren Greenfield was frequently seen on the Waverley Steps. Picture: Facebook

“A lot of members informed us about this veteran on Waverley Steps and even Rose Gentle met him when our Scottish outreach team was out.

“Now he can rest in peace to fly with the angels.”

Among those to pay tribute to the soldier was Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray.

He said: “This is an absolutely tragic story.

“Once again it highlights the deficiencies in how we treat ex-service personnel when they leave the armed forces.

“Both the UK and Scottish governments must do more to help brave ex-soldiers like Darren.”

Police Scotland confirmed a report had been sent to the Procurator Fiscal following the death of a 47 year old man.