One hundred years on, that place has evolved into Erskine, a shining light of a charity where – to date – 85,000 veterans have been helped.
On March 29, 1916, at a public meeting in Glasgow City Chambers, surgeon Sir William Macewen proposed that a Scottish limbless hospital for soldiers be established as the casualty list from the First World War mounted.
Now, to mark its landmark birthday, a special memorial garden will be constructed at the home’s main premises in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, to honour all who have passed through its doors.
The Centenary Garden, costing tens of thousands of pounds, will bring together three memorial sites at Erskine to create a special place for residents, families and visitors.
Among the trees and flowers will be benches, cairns and pillars displaying plaques in memory of past residents and lost loved ones.
Isobel Kirkwood will be purchasing one of those plaques in honour of her late husband, Robert.
He lived in Erskine for eight years until his death in 2003.
Isobel says the outdoors are a very important part of Erskine and believes the idea of the garden is “touching people’s hearts”.
“When Robert was a resident I had him outside every time the sun was shining,” she said.
“I think the place was built with the outdoors in mind – it’s in a beautiful spot among the hills of the Clyde Valley.
“It contributes to the residents feeling they are part of the outside world.
“There’s been a fantastic response to the fundraising in a short time. We’re creating a garden of memories.”
If the garden is touching people’s hearts then so does Erskine itself.
How else do you explain why Isobel, at a very sprightly 96 and more than 10 years after her husband’s passing, is still so connected to the charity?
She works there as a volunteer three days a week, travelling to and from her home in Newton Mearns, helping the fundraising team.
The great-grandmother also visits schools, giving talks to primary seven pupils about the Blitz.
She said: “I could never do enough for Erskine.
“It has given me an aim in life, a reason to get up in the morning and to feel needed.
“I stuff envelopes, do can collections and I’ve even been on the catwalk for Erskine.
“The one thing I didn’t do was the abseil from the Finnieston crane and that’s only because I don’t own a pair of trousers – my husband hated women wearing them!”
Isobel was a primary school teacher in London during the blitz and met Robert at an RAF dance in Devon in August 1941.
They only saw each other 17 more times in the next four years as the Ayrshire man was sent to Canada, America, Tunisia and Egypt, before marrying in March 1945 and having a son.
Ex-Scots Guards squaddie Bill McDowall is also looking forward to the garden.
His life was turned around by Erskine after he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his time in The Falklands War. He’s now head of IT at the charity and lives on the 80-acre estate.
He said: “We all strive for somewhere peaceful to rest our soul and reflect, and this will be the perfect place to do that.”
Everyone who donates to the garden will have their name engraved on a special funders’ cairn.
Contributions can be made by calling 0300 123 1203 or by texting GARDEN to 70660 to donate £10.
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