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William Purves celebrates 135 years in business

The Scottish funeral director has also been involved in many high-profile funeral services, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The independent family-run funeral director, William Purves, has recently celebrated its 135th anniversary.

Established in 1888 by a craftsman and cabinetmaker turned undertaker from the Borders, William Purves is today the largest independent funeral directors in Scotland, having recorded over 100,000 funerals since 1927.

The family-owned business has passed through five generations and comprises a team of over 100 staff across 25 branches in Scotland and north east England. The firm is also part owner of crematoria and also owns a stonemason in the Borders.

Several of these branches have been acquired by William Purves, including Wood and Hay in Haddington and a number of Borders based family-owned businesses. It said the legacy brands, coupled with those opened in Peebles and St Andrews, have benefited from the subsequent investment, job creation and skills development.

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The Scottish funeral director has also been involved in many high-profile funeral services, including that of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and more recently of the firefighter Barry Martin who died in the Jenners department store fire earlier this year.

Tim Purves, chairman of William Purves and descendant to the founder said: “I am proud to be celebrating William Purves’ 135th anniversary this month and to be continuing the legacy of our family-owned business.

“For 135 years, William Purves has been at the vanguard of funeral innovation, always rising to the challenges of the times. Including the rise in cremation services, the growing use of funeral tech, and most recently the hardship of the Covid-19 pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.”

He added: “It is a mark of the business’ success that we have modernised and adapted, while retaining the key values of compassion, integrity, dedication, and respect on which William Purves was built.Thank you to the many families who have placed your trust in William Purves, and for allowing us to continue the legacy that my great great grandfather started in 1888.”

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