‘A lover of the wayside flower’

A few weeks before the ‘lockdown’ I visited the cemetery in Tillicoultry.  At this date none of us were sure that a pandemic was unfolding: unknowing of our immediate future we were oblivious to how further indebted we would become to all keyworkers.

Arriving at this place of burial, I could not find a dedicated parking space, so I parked on one of the wider criss-crossing cemetery pathways [it was very early morning and other visitors seemed unlikely].  It so happened that I had parked opposite an obelisk that carried this inscription:

IN MEMORY OF

David S. Ritchie, Surgeon,

who was the first interred in this cemetery, 30th November 1861.

ERECTED BY

A large circle of friends, in admiration of his philanthropy and services to the poor.

“I WAS SICK AND YE VISITED ME”

Many rows of graves beyond this obelisk my eye was drawn to an elegant stone. It looked to be of the Arts and Crafts period but the inscription revealed that my impression was quite wrong:

Janetta Sophie Dalglish Pollock was a Matron, at the Royal Scottish Nation Institution, Larbert:


Before my retirement I was an NHS doctor in Clackmannanshire. In my career as a doctor I was fortunate enough to work alongside so many compassionate nurses, who like Janetta, naturally combined feel with professionalism.

The “Janetta” of my time was Eve Graham.

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