Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Tom Gilzean funeral: Tartan coffin for 99-year-old charity fundraiser

Tom Gilzean tartan coffin
Image caption Tom Gilzean was buried in a tartan coffin

Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of a 99-year-old war veteran known for his fundraising in Edinburgh.

Tom Gilzean, recognisable by his trademark tartan trousers, raised more than £1m for charity while collecting on the Royal Mile and Princes Street.

His body was carried into St Mary's Cathedral in a tartan coffin. He was being buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery.

Speaking at the funeral, a Legion Scotland veteran described Mr Gilzean as a "beacon of hope for the world".

Mr Gilzean died at veterans' hospital Erskine House on 4 November following a series of small strokes.

Image copyright Tabby Blades/Edinburgh Children’s Hospital
Image caption Mr Gilzean in his trademark tartan trousers with his Oor Wullie statue

In the summer, he had been honoured with an Oor Wullie statue in his image, as part of the Our Wullie Bucket Trail.

He was outbid when the statue went up for auction, but a local taxi firm stepped in to commission another sculpture.

Mr Gilzean received the Edinburgh Award in 2015 and an MBE earlier this year for his prolific charity work.

A bus driver for Lothian Buses he also served with the Royal Engineers from 1938 to 1946 as a despatch rider and in mine clearance.

A book of condolence was opened for Mr Gilzean at Edinburgh City Chambers - the first one the city council had opened since the death of Nelson Mandela.

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