January 11th 2010, at South Lanarkshire Crematorium on Sydes Brae in Blantyre saw one of Scotland’s sons put to rest, a real Scottish Patriot. Even an hour before the service was due to take place mourners began to gather regardless of the bitterly cold wintery weather at the hill top crematorium. Although there was solemn atmosphere in the air those who had gathered early used the time to reminisce on past experiences with David.
3.20pm the funeral party arrived spot on time, David’s Saltire covered coffin clearly in view in the hearse which lead the family limousines pulled up on the concourse. As the back of the hearse was opened the funeral directors ordered the pallbearers into formation and the Saltire covered coffin was raised by pallbearers Nick Brand, George Boyle, Paul Clarke, Duncan Fenton, Denis McGee, Jim Singer, Gary Stewart, Davie White, Robert “Ziggy” Wilson. To the sound of the pipes, played by Duncan Brown the coffin began its slow journey into the body of the crematorium where the friends and family were gathered. As the coffin made its way down the centre isle between the rows of pews of on looking upstanding people the atmosphere was solemn. Not being enough room within the body of the crematorium itself for all the well wishers they thronged not only outside in the corridor, but outside of the building as well approximately 400 in all. After the coffin was laid down on the gantry the pallbearers bowed in respect of David then took their places among the others.
The service proceeded with the Humanist Minister giving the congregation a great insight into the life of David breaking for 3 intervals to allow Ted Christopher to sing 3 songs which were close to Davy’s heart, Caledonia, I’m Coming Home and Scots Wha Hae. Under enormous emotional pressure Ted managed through his professionalism to carry this out without flaw stating later that David was behind him giving a wee kick from behind when he thought about failing.
With the Minister having briefly portrayed David’s life the coffin went out of view as the curtain around it slowly closed indicating the service had come to an end.
The family led the congregation out of the crematorium and the sound of the pipes could be heard in the distance, all were invited to the wake at the Ferry on Glasgow’s River Clyde where all friends and family got a chance to share their reminisce of their experiences and times with David
As a send off to David, Ted & The Bannockburn Band played a few sets of tunes which were close to David’s heart and a couple of David’s old band members from M74 got together to do the same. A few speeches and poems of sentiment were read out which remembered David in the way people thought of him, including words from the First Minister Alex Salmond himself read out on his behalf by Duncan Fenton vice convener of the Society of William Wallace.
“Mr Salmond said: "David Ross was a tremendous enthusiast for all things Scottish, and in particular for the memory of William Wallace.
"Among David's outstanding contributions to the wider understanding of Scotland's history was his leadership of the commemorative march to London in 2005.
"Those of us who attended and contributed to the service at St Bartholomew's at Smithfield in London experienced an occasion as memorable as a state funeral and as moving as a personal testament."
The evening ended with Ted singing “I’m Coming Home” one of the closest songs to David’s heart written by Ted for the “Walk for Wallace” which David organised in 2005.
Commendations of the highest go to David’s Daughter Kimberly who survived him, Shona & Karen, who made sure David got the funeral that he would have been proud of and deserved, with a true and fitting celebration of his life.
Although David’s life ended on Saturday January 2nd 2010 he will never be forgotten by the members of Crann Tara, God Bless you David and rest in peace you will forever be in our memory.
A memorial page will be forthcoming ensuring David is not forgotten within Crann Tara, it is the least we can do to give a fitting tribute to one of our closest friends and one who deserves his place in our hall of heroes.