Locals call for statue of Titanic Countess

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly

The HEROIC role played the Countess of Rothes in the Titanic tragedy has got locals calling for a statue to be commissioned following the town’s centenary commemorations reports, NEIL HENDERSON.

The Countess, who lived at Leslie House after marrying into the landowning family, was praised for her courage during the ordeal.

Garage next to what is the Greenside Hotel, Leslie today and featuring what locals circa 1915-20 referred to as the 'countess statue'

Garage next to what is the Greenside Hotel, Leslie today and featuring what locals circa 1915-20 referred to as the 'countess statue'

She helped take control of lifeboat number eight which secured the survival of 28 passengers and crew from the stricken liner before it sunk beneath the North Atlantic waves following a fatal collision with an iceberg on its maiden voyage.

A major exhibition currently running in the town and organised by the Glenrothes Heritage Committee (GAHC) has already attracted national interest has now sparked locals to call for some sort of lasting memorial to the heroine.

The man behind the idea is Leslie resident Michael Kelly, who is already exploring ways to raise the necessary funds.

He said: “There’s a rich and fascinating history surrounding Leslie and the Countess, that no one had done anything about until now.

“There was a statue positioned way back in the 1920s, within the wall of a garage adjacent to where the Greenside Hotel is now and some believe it was referred to as the Countess by local folk, that would be an ideal position for it today. “I’ve already been in touch with Titanic actress Rochelle Rose’s agent who said she would love to come over and unveil anything that we could get commissioned.”

Leslie historian, Campbell Morris also supports the idea and added: “It would be fitting to mark the Countess in some way either by way of a statue or plaque and a position near to the estate entrance would be suitable.”

The idea has also been endorsed by the Linda Ballingall at GAHC, the Leslie Community Council and Reagan Gallagher, owner of the Greenside Hotel.

He said: “With the original statue being positioned on land that is now part of the hotel, I’d happily allow for some sort of commemorative to be erected on the Greenside’s land.”