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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2008, 14:12 GMT
Widow in 3m bequest to veterans
Erskine's residential centre in Glasgow
Erskine runs care homes for veterans
A elderly widow has shown her gratitude to a hospital which treated her husband by leaving it 3m in her will.

Abigail McCallum, 90, from Largs in Ayrshire, gifted the huge sum to Erskine, the charity which cares for ex-servicemen and women.

Charity bosses said they were delighted at the donation, which is the largest legacy Erskine has ever received.

It is the second time in recent months that an elderly woman from Scotland has left a major bequest to charity.

Sheila Mair, 88, who lived near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, left 4m to charities including Erskine, when she died.

Mrs McCallum died last year but details of her will have only just emerged.

She left a total of 4m, with 3m going to Erskine, and 1m was left to other charities.

This is the largest legacy we have ever received and it could not have come at a more poignant time
Colonel Martin Gibson
Erskine chief executive

Mrs McCallum met her husband Alastair after the war while working as his secretary at the whisky firm Ross and Coulter. The pair married but had no children.

It is thought Mr McCallum spent much of WWII as a prisoner of war, and he received some treatment at Erskine after the conflict.

The charity's chief executive, Colonel Martin Gibson, said: "Every year Erskine cares for over 1,300 veterans young and old throughout Scotland, and without the support of people like Mrs McCallum we would not be able to offer the care that our ex-servicemen and women so richly deserve.

"Leaving Erskine a gift in your will is one of the best ways in which you can show your support for the men and women who have served their country with bravery and courage.

"This is the largest legacy we have ever received, and it could not have come at a more poignant time as young Scottish men and women are putting their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The youngest veteran at Erskine is 23 and the oldest is 100.



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