There is nothing more rewarding than creating peace and order from turmoil and chaos.


As an Anatomical Pathology Technician, my skills are limited in the area of post mortem reconstruction, but thanks to the course, I have learnt various new techniques, which will prove invaluable to my work and the families we serve.

The course was challenging but fun, being well structured, direct and practical. The small group size was perfect; it meant that we were all able to work together at a similar pace whilst having individual guidance.

Martin is a great teacher and very helpful, I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would like to thank him for sharing his knowledge and expertise.

I would also like to thank Iain for making this course available at Edinburgh University, what an amazing place.

Emma Caldwell, Senior Anatomical Pathology Technician, East Surrey Mortuary

I have been a qualified embalmer since 1995 and throughout the years, I have been on many courses, improving my skills to better help families in need. The facial reconstruction course taken by our excellent tutor Martin Jeffrey, has to be one of the very best I have ever been on and I would recommend this course to any embalmers or students!!!
I have finished the week, having learnt new techniques along with a newfound confidence in being able to help families view cases, which in the past would have been closed coffins due to trauma.

Dianne Catterson M.B.I.E, Area Embalmer, Harkess Funeral Directors, Edinburgh

Dear Martin

Just wanted to thank you for everything last week, the course was absolutely brilliant. Everything about it was first class all the way, the new skills I have learned will put me in good stead for doing all type of skeletal and soft tissue repair here at the University of Oxford anatomy department. The lectures were interesting, informative and made each new step easy to take and your calm and clear instruction during the practical sessions put all of us at ease and as you saw with amazing results.
My fellow students were a great bunch from several different professions but we have all gone away with new skills and knowledge and pride in what we achieved. Iain, Laura and Prof Findlater were great and made us all feel welcome and completely at home. Having now done both the embalming and this course I would strongly recommend that anyone within any of the related professions who deal with trauma cases do this course.
You are a credit to your profession and to the families you look after.

Many Thanks

Rob Mifflin, Head of Mortuary/Bequest Office, Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford

I attended this course in April 2018 and there is not one thing I could fault about it.

Martin was the most wonderful tutor for the duration of the week. His patience never faulted even with the many questions I had. He pushed me far past my expectations and at the end of the week I consider myself a better embalmer. His wealth of knowledge was inspiring. He made the environment fun and relaxed which put me immediately at ease.

I feel privileged to have been guided by Martin for the week I was there and cannot wait to return for another course.

Massive thank you as well to Iain Campbell and Professor Gordon Findlater. The anatomy department is extremely lucky to have you both.

Pamela Murphy MBIE

The course was the most enjoyable, relevant and well organised I have ever attended. Martin has an exceptional attitude towards reconstruction and a passion to share the techniques he has learnt whilst encouraging individuality from all.
Everyone involved with the course was friendly and approachable and made me feel comfortable throughout the week. I can honestly say this was one of the best things I have ever done.
Thank you so much to Martin, Ian, and the Edinburgh University Anatomy School. I can’t wait to test out my new skills and to reflect the excellence strived for at the William Purves embalming academy.

Thank you

Holly Wells, Anatomical Pathology Technician, Kings College Hospital, London

The course is truly amazing and I would recommend it to anyone that is in the industry who spends a big part of their working life is in the mortuary.
My time at Edinburgh University has filled me with the confidence to do reconstruction work in the future, where otherwise a family may be denied the ability to say one last goodbye.
After arriving on day one slightly nervous I soon realised I had no need to be. Martin is an exceptional tutor and soon puts you at ease.
I feel honoured to have been on the course and to have met the likeminded people I did.
Thank you once again

Luke Riley Berry, Melia Powell Funeral Directors, Yorkshire

What an amazing course! It is a true to life experience of how to develop your existing skills to deal with the difficulties of severe trauma cases. The William Purves Embalming Academy is growing from strength to strength and having the expertise and Knowledge of Martin and Ross, they are a huge asset to the company. Martin took my course and he shared his wealth knowledge and ability to deliver clear and concise direction in all the practical sessions with extreme professionalism and passion.

Also a massive thank you to Iain, Gordon, Karen and Laura enabling this course to take place within the historic Old Medical School, Edinburgh University, I was very privileged and enjoyed my "student week", within the prestigious surroundings.

I have come away more confident and feel that I have learned new skills to compliment my existing ones to help families in their time of need.

Thank you William Purves Embalming Academy.

Jacqueline Brown, Funeral Director, Thomas Brown & Sons Ltd, Melrose

The course is a true experience! Set aside any pre-conceptions you may have about the difficulties of severe trauma cases and let expert tutors Martin and Ross turn your apprehensions into exciting challenges. The course is intense… yes, 5 days in which comfy shoes are a must BUT you will gain, as I did, so many new skills to compliment your existing set.

The journey you will take from day 1 to day 5 will be a roller coaster, moments of surprise, puzzlement and great feelings of satisfaction, sprinkle in a few frustrations but with expert guidance at hand you’ll have your confidence boosted to levels you didn’t think you could reach.

At this time, such courses are few and far between, this being the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The collaboration between Martin and Ross on behalf of the William Purves Embalming Academy and Iain and the team at the Old Medical School, Edinburgh has fused a course that will excite, educate and empower embalmers to reach a new echelon of professional expertise.

On a personal note I would like to thank everyone involved in making the week happen, behind the scenes and at the fore, not least the decedents whose living belief in the value of education have made courses like this possible.

Andy Floyd B.Sc.(Hons), M.B.I.E., B.I.E. Tutor

When I was approached to attend this course I was sceptical and had many questions surrounding the practicality of completing reconstruction techniques within the anatomy school. On Monday we were introduced to Iain and Gordon at the anatomy school, it was evident immediately of the pride and care they have in their work,an overview was given of what we were expected to achieve by Friday and my initial thoughts were…is this really achievable.

By Tuesday my reservations were gone, Martin and Ross both deliver clear and concise direction in an informal manner, there was no pressure, just reassurance and guidance.

I feel better equipped to serve families and I know that I can count on Martin and Ross for support in any reconstruction I may complete in the future.

It was an honour to complete this course in such prestigious surroundings with likeminded colleagues who wish to enable families to say that last goodbye, a chance that perhaps previously may have been denied to them.

Milissa j Wilson M.B.I.E., M.E.A.E., B.I.E Accredited Tutor

It was an absolute privilege having the opportunity to attend the reconstruction course. The patience and meticulous care you both take in teaching reflects your professionalism, passion and dedication to what you do. The course was well paced and structured to fully grasp the techniques without feeling pressured which helps in terms of processing and retaining all that you both have taught.

I believe that all of us that attended will definitely be leaving better embalmers with the confidence in handling recon cases as we strive to serve families to the best of our abilities, which in every aspect, is the very reason that drew us as embalmers into the profession in the first place

Thank you once again for it’s the individuals such as yourselves who choose to impart your knowledge which helps us provide a dignified send off for the loved ones that have passed.

Shane Teo, BSc H.F.Y, Dip AA, Student Embalmer

I just wanted to say than you again for a fantastic week, I have learnt so much from you both. Both you and the staff at the university were very helpful and I feel truly privileged to have been invited on such a course. I can honestly say the week gave me more knowledge and more importantly the confidence to have a go the next time I need to use these skills for real.I would have no hesitation recommending this course to anyone wishing to expand their skills.

Colin Price M.B.I.E, M.B.I.E Tutor

I felt very privileged to attend not only the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, but also to be able to work within the amazing surroundings of Edinburgh University, a truly unique experience.

The care and compassion Iain has for the anatomy subjects in his care is second to none.

I found the course to be thoroughly informative, educational and most importantly was a very encouraging environment and there was a lot of learning as well as exchanges of ideas. You both came across very well when explaining techniques, brought yourselves and your knowledge down to a level so that I was able to learn is very difficult to find anything I didn’t like about the course, I feel it was a great success. I would 100% recommend this course to anyone wishing to improve their personal skills in the area of post Mortem Reconstruction

Kathy Hall M.B.I.E ,M.E.A.E