Captain Dugald Stewart Gilkison

Date of Birth 5 March 1880
Age at Death 34
Date of Death 20 September 1914
Service Number
Military Service Scottish Rifles Brigade
Merton Address 6 the Downs, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Trinity United Reformed Church, Wimbledon

Additional Information

Born in Calcutta, India on 5 March, 1880, Dugald was the eldest son of Dugald and Margaret Gilkison. The couple also had two younger children, James and Joan. Dugald Gilkison Snr was a partner in “Peirce and Leslie,” a firm of coffee and tea planters and producers. The family moved back to England during the early 1880s, whilst the children were still in their infancy. They initially lived in Sutton but moved to 6, The Downs, Wimbledon in the years prior to the First World War. (Dugald had already left home by that point.)
Educated privately at the famous Rugby School, Dugald later attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Scottish Rifle Regiment on 11 February, 1899 and promoted to Lieutenant a year later, ultimately achieving the rank of Captain in 1905.
Dugald served in the South African (2nd Boer War) from 1899-1902, for which he was awarded a King’s Medal with two clasp, followed by a Queen’s Medal with five clasps. In 1906 he married Janet Vernon in Retford, Nottinghamshire. His new wife was born in South Africa, to British parents and had moved back to England as a child. The young couple honeymooned on the Continent., before settling in the UK. By 1911 they were living in a 13 room house in Camberley, Surrey, together with their three children; Dorothy, Betty and Stewart.* A fourth child, Charles, was born in 1913).
The household included six servants, so it is fair to assume that the Dugald was a man of means.

Following the outbreak of war, Dugald’s regiment was called into action as part of the British Expeditionary Force and was soon sent to France. The infantry brigade took part in the Battle of the Aisne ( 13 – 28 September 1914. ) This was a follow-up assault against the right wing of the German 1st Army as it retreated from the earlier Battle of the Marne. When Dugald’s men came under fire, he tried to change positions, but was shot dead by a sniper on 20 September 1914. His death came less than a month after that of his brother, James, who had died on 26 August during the Battle of Le Cateau.
Dugald was one of 327 identified casualties buried at the Vendrasse British Cemetery in the Aisne region of France. He is also commemorated on a brass plaque at Trinity United Reform Church in Mansel Road, Wimbledon and in a memorial book at Christ Church, Copse Hill. His family was living at 6 Bradmore Road, Oxford at the time of his death and inherited a fairly substantial estate of around £9330.


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