Roll of Honour


Leon M Pitoy

Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur

Les LPhil

Léon Maurice Pitoy was born on March 14th 1874 in French town of Fontainebleau. His father Eugène Maurice Pitoy worked as a grain merchant. In 1892, Léon completed his B. ès Sc. Degree which is the French equivalent of Bachelor of Science at the University of Paris. In 1895, he finished his L. ès L. degree ('Licence ès Lettres') from the same University.

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

In 1902 Pitoy came to work at the University of Glasgow as an assistant in the French department under the supervision of Charles A. Martin. From 1906 to 1907 he also studied as a research student specialising in the Reciprocal Influences of English and French Literature in 18th century. This research went towards his Master of Arts which he obtained in 1924. In 1907, Charles Martin noted in a letter to the principal how Pitoy devoted all his energy to helping students and described him as educated, qualified and modest individual.

In 1914 Pitoy was appointed lecturer of French at the University of Glasgow. However his new position was put on hold during the First World War. Pitoy fought as a sergeant in the French 34th Imperial Regiment. In 1947 he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for his military service.

Following the war, in 1922, Pitoy married Mary Clow Cameron a French lecturer at the university and daughter of Murdoch Cameron, Regius Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the university between 1894 and 1926. In 1937 Pitoy resigned from his position as lecturer at Glasgow which he had held for 23 years. The following year he founded, alongside his wife, the Pitoy Language Prize which is still awarded today to the Honours student with the highest grade in their final French speaking examination.

Pitoy died on the 27th November 1954 in Ayr at the age of 80. He is buried in Glasgow Western Necropolis alongside his wife Mary Clow Pitoy who died aged 88 on the 2nd April 1964. Pitoy made a great contribution to the French department at the University of Glasgow and was described in his Legion of Honour distinction as an excellent representative of France.