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Sir John Edward Gilmour


1912 - 2007

Politician. Gilmour was born in Glasgow into a political dynasty, the only son of Sir John Gilmour (1876 - 1940). He was educated at Eton, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he read politics and economics, and Dundee School of Economics. He served with distinction as a tank commander during World War II and inherited the baronetcy in 1940 when his father died five months after being appointed Minister of Shipping. After the war he dedicated himself to running the 567-ha (1400-acre) family estate at Montrave, near Leven, in Fife.

He served on Fife County Council (1955-61). Despite having no real political ambitions, Gilmour was persuaded to stand for Parliament when the sitting Member for East Fife died in 1961. He fought off a challenge from a young John Smith (1938-94), who went on to become Leader of the Labour Party. Gilmour served the constituency with considerable dedication until 1979. He was Chairman of the Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland (1965-67). He defended the sugar-beet industry in Fife and in particular the jobs of the workers are the processing factory in Cupar, which closed in 1972. Gilmour also took a leading role in the Fight for Fife campaign which successfully prevented the county from being broken up in the 1974 local government reorganisation.

He was appointed a Captain of the Royal Company of Archers - the Queen's Body Guard for Scotland - and was chosen as the Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1982 and 1983. Gilmour also served as Lord-Lieutenant of Fife (1980-87).

Gilmour died in Cupar but is remembered as a popular, honourable and hard-working politician.


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