Homeless ex-soldier dies on Edinburgh’s streets

Darren Greenfield at his usual spot outside Waverley Station

A homeless former soldier, Darren Greenfield, 47, has passed away, sparking outrage amongst veterans and campaigners.

Darren Greenfield served with the Royal Tank Regiment but fell on hard times after leaving the army.

Many Edinburgh residents saw the veteran on a daily basis, sat at his post outside Waverley Station with a cardboard sign. It read simply, ‘Soldier in need please help, thank you, God Bless’.

His death has been described as a tragedy by his friends with some revealing that they had tried to reach out to offer support before he was admitted to hospital where he passed away.

EN4 News spoke with local man, David Ronney who saw Mr. Greenfield regularly.

“Darren used to come into my work at the Waverley Mall every morning or afternoon I was in. He would come in to order a hot chocolate and even though he would always have the money to pay for his drink, many of us would cover the charge for him. He was always grateful for this and would say “god bless” with the biggest smile on his face.”

I can say he was one of the most polite and lovely customers I’ve had the opportunity to interact with. He would always strike a conversation with whoever was working and had a genuine interest for what they had to say as did we all for Darren.”

The support group, Soldier’s Off the Street also commented through Facebook that Darren had “refused help from Soldiers off the Street, SSAFA and others tried helping him but we think the streets was his only way of living and copping with life.”

Studies have shown that veterans are 10 percent more likely to be homeless in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

Homeless charity Shelter commented:

“It is not uncommon for service users to have left the armed forces many years ago and have had a chequered history of trying to integrate into civilian life.”

“They may have initially returned to the family home on release from the forces but have suffered relationship breakdown and consequently homelessness. Some have ended up living on the streets and have taken many years to approach anyone for help.”

If you or someone you know is suffering from homelessness you can contact Streetwork @

South Bridge
18 South Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1LL
Tel: 0131 344 0825
Holyrood Hub
22 Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8AF
Tel: 0131 557 6055
Freephone: 0808 178 2323

 

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