Captain Chaplain The Reverend Andrew GILLISON
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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
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
'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).
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