About William Purves
William Purves, the founder of our family run firm, was born in the Borders. He started his career as a joiner and set off for a new life in New Zealand. He got as far as Edinburgh. Obviously he fell in love with the place because he set up shop here. By the end of the 19th Century William Purves and his ten joiners undertook the tasks of cabinet making, french polishing, upholstering… and undertaking
In the early 1900s, his son William (or Willie as everyone knew him) became the second generation to carry on the family business, opening a funeral office in Marchmont Road. Willie was obviously a fortunate man because, due to his mother’s illness, he was given permission to leave the front in WW1 and come home. On his return to the front he learned that the rest of his regiment, The Scots Greys Cavalry, had all been killed.
Throughout the 20th Century the business continued to grow and today our high standards are upheld by Tim Purves, the fifth generation of the Purves family, together with fellow directors; James Morris, Roger Pagan, Andrew Purves and Colin Brown. The ‘William Purves family’ now comprises over 100 staff, has over thirty branches, and covers the east coast of Scotland and down into the North of England.