Captain James Elliot Black

Biography of Captain James Elliot Black

James Elliot Black was born on the 10th March 1887 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. He was the son of Major Adam Elliot Black, a Chartered Accountant and Commanding Officer of the Clyde Division, Engineer Volunteers, Submarine Miners, Royal Engineers, and Mary Bruce Black (nee Murray), of Finglen, Campsie Glen, Stirlingshire. James' home address was listed as 18 Westbourne Terrace, Glasgow, in 1917.

James was educated at Cargilfield School, Edinburgh, and then entered Fettes College, also in Edinburgh, in 1900. He began studying at the University of Glasgow in 1905. In session 1909-10 he was awarded a Second Class Certificate in Practical Pathology by Professor Robert Muir. Black graduated MB ChB on the 12th October 1911. Black also studied at the University College London and was studying for his Diploma of Public Health at the University of Cambridge when war broke out.

Black volunteered for service, and was gazetted Lieutenant (on probation) in the Royal Army Medical Corps (Special Reserve) on the 22nd September 1914. He then proceeded to France on the 7th November 1914, where he became attached to the No. 8 Casualty Clearing Service Station and remained with them until the 16th February 1916. He was confirmed as permanent Lieutenant on the 22nd December 1914 and in April 1915 he was promoted to Captain, after which point he joined the 8th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment as a Medical Officer. On the 23th March 1917 he was admitted to a convalescent hospital due to illness but he was back with the battalion in April 1917. Captain James Elliot Black was killed on the 19th April 1917, and was buried at the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France.

Captain Black was Mentioned in Dispatches (MID) by F.M. Sir John French, for gallantry and distinguished service in the field. He also won the Military Cross (MC) for his actions in September 1916, during the assault against the Quadrilateral Redoubt during the Somme Offensive. The London Gazette states that he was awarded the Military Cross (MC): "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action. He rendered valuable services when attending the wounded under heavy machine gun and shell fire. Later, he went out into 'No Man's Land' to succour the wounded".

After his death, Colonel Lord Ampthill (Officer Commanding the 8th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment) wrote that Black had

"Established his Aid Post as near the fighting line as possible, and there he worked with unremitting zeal and devotion and without a thought of danger till the end. I can honestly tell you that no Medical Officer could have been more beloved in that battalion than he was."


Captain James Elliot Black
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps attd. 8th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment
Degree: MB ChB
Awards: Military Cross
Comments: Killed in action, 19 April 1917.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/959, 977
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/15


University of Glasgow Faculty, General Council and Registry records.

Biographical information: The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis - James Elliot Black.

Burial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Find War Dead

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