History of Haymarket War Memorial

Dignifying the Memorial at Haymarket

Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, 5th December 1914, HMFC Museum Collection.

The start of a mile-long Maroon Mile heritage trail will be the Heart of Midlothian War Memorial. A historically important site for both the club and the city of Edinburgh.

The Heart of Midlothian War Memorial located at Haymarket was paid for by HMFC and its supporters. The Memorial remains, to date, as the site of the HMFC’s annual Remembrance Service. In 1914, eleven HMFC players enlisted in Sir George McCrae’s battalion and would go onto actively serve in World War One. Four of the enlisted players are seen training in a newspaper photograph from the same year.

The sculpted monument, with its distinctive clock face and hand carved lion’s heads, was unveiled on the 9th of April 1922 before a solemn crowd of approximately 40,000 people. The impressive ceremony was conducted by Mr Robert Munro (1868 – 1955), Secretary of State for Scotland, and attended by many dignitaries who heard tributes paid to the members of the Heart of Midlothian FC who joined the 16th Battalion Royal Scots in 1914.


Remembrance Sunday. The photograph features Mr. A.Wright, Chairman of the Former Players Club and Mr.R.S.K Galloway, Chairman.
12th November 1951, Edinburgh Evening News, HMFC Museum Collection.


The Heart of Midlothian Memorial was designed by Sir Thomas Duncan Rhind KBE (1871 -1927) and sculpted by Mr. Henry Snell Gamely RSA. The monument was built by Messrs. John Angus & Sons whose works were on Duff Street near Tynecastle and the clock was designed and made by James Ritchie & Son (est.1809). The C Listed structure, in the heart of Haymarket, is dedicated to the memory of the club’s players, members and the people of Edinburgh who fell in the Great War and World War Two.

To find out more about the history of the club and to learn more about the events surrounding the Haymarket Memorial, please click here.

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations, the club will be undertaking essential works to dignify the memorial in the summer of 2024. The stone immediately surrounding the War Memorial will be replaced with a more decorative stone, inscribed with suitable quotations, helping to restore its dignity as a significant place of remembrance. 

Expert advice on the cleaning and conservation of the monument will also be undertaken, and a conservation plan commissioned to ensure that it is cared for using best practice and preserved for future generations.

This work has been generously funded and supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.