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Presented by the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers to MAJOR JOHN DOUGLAS GILROY on the occasion of his marriage to Frances Mona Rudd, April 18th 1927.
Footnote: John Douglas Gilroy was educated at Winchester but left in 1916 to go to the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 9th Lancers (“The Delhi Spearmen”) and served with this Regiment until 1928. He rejoined his Regiment at the start of World War II.
Frances Mona was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Percy Rudd of Kimberley, South Africa. Henry Percy Rudd (1869–1961), who succeeded Cecil Rhodes as head of the De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines, was the son of Charles Dunell Rudd (1844–1916), one of the founders with Rhodes of the De Beers Mining Company and of Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd. In 1902 he retired to Scotland and bought the Ardnamurchan Estate.
The Gilroy Family in WWI: John Gilroy was born into one of the wealthiest linen and flax manufacturing families in Dundee, Scotland and was educated, like his brothers, at Winchester College and Magdalen College, Oxford. However, money and a good education did not ensure a long and successful life during World War I and the Gilroy story is an only too familiar and tragic one.
The eldest son, George Bruce Gilroy MC, (1889-1916) served with the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) and died, aged 27, of wounds received in action during the attack on Longaeval, on 15 July 1916.
Another, Kenneth Reid (1892–1915) died from wounds received in action on 12 March 1915 at Neuve Chapelle, the day before his 23rd birthday, while serving as a Lieutenant with the 2nd Battalion, the Black Watch.
Meanwhile their sister Isla Brydon (1894–1983,) later Forrester, after her marriage in 1915 to Robert Edgar Forrester, DSO was widowed that same year when he was killed in action on 16 June 1915 near Cuinchy, while serving as a Captain with the 1st Battalion, The Black Watch.
At the end of the war their father died of a heart attack (and probably grief) and their mother built a house in St Andrews which is now a country house hotel called Rufflets. She made their family house in Broughty Ferry into a holiday/retreat house for the widows of the Black Watch at the end of the war. It was eventually sold and the proceeds were split amongst the surviving widows.
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