Edinburgh legend Tom Gilzean's funeral set to be a 'fitting tribute' to inspirational fundraiser

The full route of the funeral cortege has been released by the family.

Sunday, 17th November 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th November 2019, 4:53 pm

One of Edinburgh’s most inspirational figures will be given a “fitting tribute” at his funeral on Tuesday afternoon.

The funeral of Tom Gilzean, the legendary fundraiser and war veteran, who died age 99 after decades raising money for charities including the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and Erskine care home for veterans.

His son, Douglas, told the Evening News that his father would “never have imagined” so much being done for him at his funeral.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The route map of the funeral cortege, which will stop outside Marks and Spencer on Princes Street (Photo: Google)

Read More

Read More
Sign Evening News petition to name prominent Edinburgh street after fundraising ...

The family have said all are welcome at the service at St Mary’s Cathedral on York Place, which will start at 12.45pm on Tuesday 19 November.

The procession will then start at 1.45pm to the sound of a piper before travelling along Princes Street.

It will stop outside the Marks and Spencers on Princes Street at approximately 1.50pm to allow for a moment to pay respects to Tom at one of his favourite collecting spots.

The funeral of Tom Gilzean will take place on Tuesday

The procession will then head up North Bridge before arriving at Mount Vernon cemetary for 2.15pm.

Collection for Tom's charities

Douglas Gilzean added a collection would also take place at the cathedral, with the money going towards his father’s charities.

He said: “I feel blessed that my father is getting all this. He would never have imagined that he would get anything close to this.

“His wish was at best that he could have a flag on the coffin when he got buried.

“There is a collection in the church on the way out. Anything that is collected will go towards my father’s charities.

“His life was about collecting for charity and he would wish that anything they would give him would be for his charities and that is the best we could do for him.

“We would like him to still be collecting on the way out.”

Tom’s daughter-in-law, Gina, added she hoped the day would be a “fitting tribute” to the inspirational figure.

'It is my Dad's day'

Mr Gilzean will read Tom’s eulogy at the end of the service which will also include the Old Rugged Cross and the Lord is my Shepherd sung during the service.

He added that there will also be a bugler at the gravesite playing The Last Post as his father is buried.

The Royal Engineer Sappers will be pallbearers, and will also provide a guard of honour at the gravesite.

Mr Gilzean added: “I am overwhelmed and the family is overwhelmed. There are so many people wanting to do something or be part of it.

“It is my father’s day and I feel it is payback. In the last 20 years he sat on the Royal Mile or Princes Street collecting and he deserves as much as he could get.

“Anything we can give is for my Dad, it is his day.

“It is wonderful to hear and it is a shock that my father was held in such high regard. We knew he was loved but, and I don’t mean this flippantly, he was just dad to us, it is just such a shock.”

More than 4,000 people have signed the Evening News’ petition to name a street in Edinburgh after Tom Gilzean.

The issue is due to be discussed on Thursday by councillors.

Councillors, including the Lord Provost, will be in attendance at the funeral as will a representative from the French Consulate General.