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Walter Elliot


(Colonel Walter Elliot)

1888 - 1958

Politician, writer and broadcaster. The son of a farmer and auctioneer, Elliot was educated at the Glasgow Academy and University of Glasgow, graduating in medicine in 1913. He was awarded the Military Cross during the First World War and achieved the rank of Colonel. He served as Unionist Member of Parliament for Lanark (1918-23), for Glasgow Kelvingrove (1923-45, 1950-58) and for the Scottish Universities (1946-50), one of the longest serving MPs in the West of Scotland. Elliot was Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries (1932-36), bringing into being the Milk Marketing Boards, Secretary of State for Scotland (1936-38) and Minister of Health (1938-40), responsible for Cancer Act of 1939 and the evacuation of children from the cities during the early years of World War II. Also during that war, Elliot is noted for saving Westminster Hall from the Blitz of 1941; he told fire-fighters to concentrate their efforts on the Mediaeval Hall as the oldest part of the Palace of Westminster and personally broke down the doors to provide them with access.

He also served as Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1956-7), Rector of the University of Aberdeen (1933-36) and of the University of Glasgow (1947-50) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1935. He was awarded honorary degrees by the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and St. Andrews. His publications include Toryism and the Twentieth Century (1927) and Long Distance (1943).

Elliot's first wife died while mountaineering on their honeymoon in 1919. In 1934, he married Katharine, daughter of Sir Charles Tennant (1823 - 1906), who became Scotland's first life peeress in 1958 as Baroness Elliot of Harwood.

He inherited the estate of Harwood in the Scottish Borders from his father, who had bought this ancient Elliot property towards the end of his life.


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