Captain Chaplain The Reverend Andrew GILLISON

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Captain (Chaplain 4th Class) The Reverend Andrew
(Mentioned in Despatches)

Attached 14th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force

Born 7th June 1868 at Baldernock, near Glasgow, Scotland

Educated: Watson's College, Edinburgh University, Scotland

Married; Church minister, of East St. Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria

Next of Kin listed as: Wife; Isobel Gillison, of 'St. Andrew's', 666 Burke Road, Upper Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria

Photos of Chaplain Gillison are known to exist in the following locations:
Table Talk
24 Jun 1915 p3. Melbourne Herald 28 Aug 1915 p1. Brisbane Courier 4 Sept 1915 p12. The Australasian 4 Sep 1915 pviii & 9 Oct 1915 pv

Died of wounds
22nd August 1915
at Casualty Clearing Station 16,
near Hill 60, northern Anzac
Aged 47

14th Battalion, A.I.F.

Embarkation Pier cemetery


Their Glory Shall Not
Be Blotted Out


Previously served as Private, Queen's Edinburgh Rifle Volunteer Corps for two years (1885 - 87).

Embarked with the 14th Battalion on 22 December 1914 [But not listed on Chaplain's or 14th Battalion's embarkation rolls]*. Chaplain, Citizen Military Forces, for 8 years 1 month (9 Nov 1906) (Victorian Scottish Regiment).

* Other [as yet unchecked] information states that he embarked at Melbourne on 4th October 1915, aboard A47, HMAT Mashobra.

Widow's 1936 address: 4 Hambleton Rd, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria.

Came to Australia at age 37. Previously Chaplain to the Victorian Scottish Regiment. 2nd cousin, Private Tom Gillison, was also Killed in Action at Gallipoli. Information supplied by widow, Isobel Gillison at above address. Wife has handwritten a note on the cover page of the questionnaire: 'P.S. Please note that this is the first communication of this kind that I have received. I.G.' [This was the questionairre for families to provide details for the official war histories].

CWGC lists NOK (in addition to wife) as: Father; John Gillison. Mother; Jane Brootch, his (John's) wife.
Number of children unknown, but at least one daughter (Mary) was born.

Formerly minister at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Brisbane. A portrait of Chaplain Gillison still exists here.

Part of a letter from Major R. Rankine (14th Battalion), written to his wife and dated 2 May 1915, reads:
'Gillison has proved a fine man. He sneaked up the hillside and we got poor Captain Hoggart's body, and as soon as it was dark enough we gave him a decent burial, but the din never ceased a moment.' (Melbourne Herald 3 July 1915 p1).

Fatally wounded at Hill 60, 21st August. The intense machine-gun, rifle and shell-fire had set fire to the bushes on the ground across which the allied units were attacking:

'The flames, reaching some of the dead or wounded, ignited their clothing and exploded their bombs and rifle-ammunition, and thus pieces of burning cloth or wood were flung to other ledges, starting more fires... any attempt to reach, or to move upon, the exposed slope meant instant death. ...On the following morning, while Gillison was waiting to read the burial service over the bodies of some of those who had fallen in this action, he heard someone groaning in the scrub on the ridge... Gillison at once called Cpl. Pittendrigh and a man named Wild (of Hinton, NSW) of the 13th Bn. The three crawled forward, reached the wounded man, and had dragged him for about a yard when a Turkish sniper opened and severely wounded both Gillison and Pittendrigh. Gillison died the same day.' (Bean V2 p735, 735n).

(Corporal R.R. Pittendrigh (No. 896, 13th Bn), Clergyman, of Lithgow, NSW, born Bathurst, NSW, 1883, died of his wounds on 29th August).

Captain-Chaplain F. Colwell, 17th Battalion, an ex-president of the Methodist Conference, said:
'On August 22 Brigadier-General Holmes asked me to proceed to the second base and do what I could for the men being brought down by stretcher bearers. On my way I met two bearers carrying a comrade. I asked who it was, and was told it was Chaplain Gillison, of the 14th Battalion (Victoria). He and Corporal Pittendreigh (whom I had ordained during my presidential year) had crawled out to bring in a wounded man. Both had been shot. Mr Gillison died three hours later, and Corporal Pittendreigh on the way to Egypt.' (Sydney Daily Telegraph 6 Mar 1916 p3).

Lest We Forget

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