It’s a call to arms: Tattoo volunteers make remembrance tributes permanent

Gordon Simpson displays his poppy tattoo
Gordon Simpson displays his poppy tattoo
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IT’S a lasting tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and one that will certainly never be forgotten.

Eleven people have had Remembrance Day poppies inked on their skin on 11/11/11 as part of fundraising efforts by a Portobello tattooist.

And there was no shortage of people – young and old, male and female – who wanted to have the enduring symbol tattooed upon themselves.

Jan Craig, 48, owner of Dragonheart Tattoo, explained she set up the back-to-back session to raise funds for the Royal British Legion Scotland and mark the “momentous” day.

“We do a lot to support the Royal British Legion Scotland – my husband Russ is a member of the Riders’ Branch and he took part in the Legion’s 90th anniversary celebration at the Military Tattoo this year.

“I just thought it would be really cool if we could tattoo 11 poppies.

“Initially the idea just took off by word of mouth and then we advertised it on Facebook – there’s been quite a bit of interest in it for weeks now.”

Of every £35 paid per tattoo, £5 is to be donated to the Royal British Legion Scotland and Jan and Russ have pledged to double the final tally.

“It wasn’t difficult at all to get people to put themselves forward for this and the reaction has been so positive,” added Jan.

“It’s just nice to give something back to those who have sacrificed so much for us.”

The marathon session kicked off at 11.02am after the traditional two minutes’ silence.

Jan, 48, who set up the High Street parlour with Russ just over three years ago, offered a selection of two designs available in black and grey or colour.

She said: “For the majority of our clients it means something significant.”

One of those to get a tattoo was Gordon Simpson, 54, from Costorphine, who along with Russ is a member of the Dunedin Chapter of the Harley Owners Group.

Electrician Gordon, who already has several tattoos, had a colour poppy inked in the inside of his arm. “Anything that supports the boys who are out in Afghanistan as well as remembering those who gave their lives in previous conflicts is a good thing,” he said.

Hairdresser Michelle Stonehouse, 29, from Danderhall, had her poppy tattooed on to her lower arm.

“I just thought it’s for a good cause,” she said. “I think people will like the fact that someone so young has something so permanent to mark the cause.”