Lance Corporal (Reverend) Gilbert Wilkie Elliott

Biography of Lance Corporal (Reverend) Gilbert Wilkie Elliott

Gilbert Wilkie Elliott was born on 17th December 1884 in Allendale Northumberland, son of Thomas and Margaret Elliot. His father was an Inland Revenue Officer. His father’s name is recorded as being with a single ‘t’ but they had adopted the double ‘t’ by the time they came to Glasgow.

They lived at 7 Woodlands, in Albert Road in Glasgow, and Gilbert attended Hutchison’s Grammar School, at that time located in the Gorbals area of Glasgow. In 1901 he went on to the University, studying for an MA and at the same time enrolled in Trinity College for his training as a minister.

He studied Latin in first year and received prizes in Greek, Logic and Metaphysics, Physics and Hebrew. In his final year, he was awarded 1st Prize for his Hebrew essay.

His mother died in September 1901, just before he started his University career, and his father died in 1904, just before he started his final year. He graduated MA, in 1905.

He was ordained as a minister and served in a number of parishes. On 1st May 1910 he was inducted as minister of Brandon UF Church in Hamilton, and so well thought of that they invited him to return to officiate at an anniversary service held on 30th July 1916. This was after he had joined the St Margaret’s Church in Forfar (at that time the United Free, West Church) in February 1915.

The Plaque which his parishioners erected in St Margaret’s Church has the inscription: “In affectionate remembrance of the Rev. Gilbert W. Elliott. M.A. who after ministering here in holy things for about two years, volunteered for active service in the Great War and fell in action near Albert”.

He was married to Helen Hannah Urquhart Elliott, on 20th February 1915, and they had one daughter Jen Robin Elliott who was born on 23rd October 1915. On his death, his widow was presented with his war medals, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal. She had returned to her parents’ home in Hamilton, where her father was minister of St John’s UF Church.

He had enlisted in the Royal Scots as a private, refusing the offer of officer training. He said this was because ‘he loved the humble man’. He was transferred to the Machine Gun Corp, and it was as a Lance Corporal in that regiment that he met his death on 27 March 1918 aged 34.

As with many who perished, he was initially posted missing, and it was not until the prisoners of war had all been exchanged that his friends and family finally gave up hope, and a date of death was ascertained. His name appears on the Pozieres Memorial, near Albert, where the British names on the Wall are set around mainly Australian Graves.

In addition to the University Roll of Honour, and the special memorial in his parish, Gilbert is remembered on the Hutcheson’s Grammar School Memorial; the Forfar War Memorial & Roll Of Honour, the Ministers Memorial in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh; and the Trinity College Memorial at the University.


Lance Corporal (Reverend) Gilbert Wilkie Elliott
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Degree: MA
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed in action, near Pozieres on the Somme, France, 27 March 1918. Attended Hutchesons Grammar School
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

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