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Memorial stone rescued after being vandalised

146 years after his death, local artist John McLeod will finally get a memorial stone for his resting place in
the New Calton Cemetery, Regent Place donated by Edinburgh funeral directors William Purves who came
to the rescue when the headstone of Greyfriars Bobby’s master was vandalised last month.

Famed for his painting of Greyfriars Bobby, which hangs in Greyfriars Kirk visitor centre, John McLeod is
one of the capital’s many forgotten residents and yet his portrait of the world famous terrier is one of the
city’s most visited attractions.

The artist who presented the portrait to Old Greyfriars Kirk would have known Dr Robert Lee the minister and James Brown the kirkyard superintendent.

Both Dr Lee and the kirkyard superintendent died in March 1868 within a day of each other. James Cosmo played the part of James Brown in ‘The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby’.

The One o’ Clock Gun Association, whose remit is to commemorate almost-forgotten local heroes, has organised a ceremony on 17 February to honour the artist with a fitting memorial. Bailie Alex Staniforth will be representing the Lord Provost and the Edinburgh City Council.

George Robinson, secretary of the One o’Clock Gun Association, explains: “John McLeod who had a large
family to support was one of the city’s hard working residents whose graves are unmarked but not
forgotten. We’re delighted that an Edinburgh based family firm of funeral directors has donated a
memorial stone to the artist, whose painting is a valuable asset to our city.”

The ceremony commences at 12.45 pm this Saturday, as Bobby went for his dinner when the One o’clock Gun fired.

Attending the ceremony will be Bailie Alex Staniforth. Tim Purves from William Purves Funeral Directors, a representative from the RSA, Skye Terrier Club and Willie Telford representing the minister of Greyfriars Kirk.

Derek MacLeod who is a direct descendant of the artist will be present with his wife and two daughters. Bob the One o’Clock Gun Asscn’s mascot will represent the city’s four-footed residents.

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