Edinburgh, also known as “Auld Reekie” and the “Athens of the North”, has been described as the most beautiful city in Europe. While the superlatives describe the city’s grandeur and history, what about the people? Some of the most notable, brilliant minds involved in the research and development of the arts, science and commerce were born in the city of Edinburgh or her environs.
Although not born in Edinburgh, Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish philanthropist, financed the construction of the Central Library on George the IV Bridge. In describing the city he said, “There is no habitation of human beings in this world so fine in its way, and its way itself is fine, as the capital of Scotland”.
In 1914, with the outbreak of war, the “habitation of human beings” responded enthusiastically to the To Arms! by one of the city’s most famous sons, Arthur Conan Doyle. While thousands of men and many women went off to serve on the Fighting Fronts, the Home Front saw individuals step forward whose humanity, philanthropy or public standing was “so fine in its way” that, in support of the war effort, they raised considerable public funds, services and morale.
George Washington Browne designed the Central Library on George the IV Bridge and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
He lost three sons in the war.
In the post war era he designed war memorials.