Recently I wrote about my experience of dealing with the funeral of my father’s cousin down south. Betty lived for many years in Farnborough, latterly in a care home. Her funeral took place in Aldershot Crematorium.

But she was a Falkirk bairn and had requested that her ashes be brought back to Scotland and buried in the Urquhart family plot in Camelon Cemetery.

I held power of attorney for Betty in her later years and among all her papers I found the original receipt for purchase of the lair. Betty’s father, George Urquhart bought the lease back in 1920 for the sum of three pounds and three shillings!

So I had no trouble in requesting an interment of ashes from Falkirk Bereavement Services. They just needed that proof of ownership and a cremation certificate.

On the day, I set off from Dundee with my mother. We’re both from Falkirk ourselves so it always feels like returning when we go there. And especially as we drove down Heugh Street where Betty was born and brought up.

It was very cold that day – quite frosty – but crisp and sunny. There were a few other relatives in attendance and we just held a short ceremony by the grave. But it was very beautiful in the cemetery with all the fine wintry trees. And moving to know that George had bought that plot exactly ninety-nine years ago to the day for his family.

Afterwards we all went for a lunch in a restaurant on the site of the old Rosebank distillery – a place that held a lot of significance for our family. It was a solemn and strangely peaceful day.

Betty was the last of her branch of the Urquhart family. And so our little ceremony on that winter’s day in Falkirk drew the story of their lives to a quiet and dignified close.

Last of the Urquharts

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