Roll of Honour


Walter William Coats


Walter William Coats was born in 1856 to Dr John Coats, treasurer of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Coats first matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1871, graduating MA in 1875. During this time he won numerous class prizes, but it was whilst reading for a Bachelor's in Divinity in the following three years that Coats truly excelled. In addition to amassing another collection of class prizes, Coats won two named University prizes.These were the 1877 Cleland Gold Medal for the best essay on “The Idea of Miracle in the Synoptic Gospels and in the Fourth Gospel”, and the 1878 Rae Wilson Gold Medal for the best essay on “The Relation of Jesus Christ to the Messianic Ideas of His Times”. His talent was not limited to pure academia, however; he also came second for the 1878 John Henderson prize for composition and delivery of a sermon.

After graduating BD in 1878, Coats lived with his brother at 25 Newton Place, Glasgow, for one year before becoming a Presbyterian minister. From approximately 1880 to 1901 he was the Minister at Girthon, a small village in Kirkcudbrightshire.

In 1901 he moved to Brechin Cathedral, where he was minister until his death in 1941. He also returned to the University of Glasgow once more, completing his Doctorate in Divinity in 1904. During the First World War Coats also ministered to the wounded soldiers, as acting Chaplain to both the 4th Scottish General Hospital in Glasgow and the 1st Scottish General Hospital in Aberdeen.

Comments and Citations

Information supplied by the family

Registers of General Council, ref. DC183/11