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Written by Neil WW Gilliat


1st Gen. RICHARD GILLIAT born 1759 in Scrivelsby, died 1823 in Partney, Lincolnshire. He married ANN MACKINDER 1786. She was born 1767 in East Kirby, Lincolnshire, and died 1802 in Welton Lincs.
WILLIAM GILLIAT 1786-1786 Welton Le Marsh twin of Richard
RICHARD GILLIAT 1786-1786 Welton Le Marsh twin of William
RICHARD GILLIAT 1786-1867 Welton Le Marsh, died Louth, Lincs
WILLIAM GILLIAT 1791-1868 Barham House, East Hoathly, Sussex. Lived at Richmond VA.
JOHN GILLIAT 1792-1867 Old Hall Farm, Donnington on Bain.

Richard was the second son of William and Elizabeth, baptised at Scrivelsby on the 4th June 1759. He also followed in his father's footsteps as a grazier. In 1776 he married ANN MACKINDER 1776-1802 from East Kirby another small village some ten or twelve miles to the south and east of Horncastle. Ann Mackinder was the niece of the well-respected farming family, the Mackinders of Hanby Hall. (NB: There were to be several partnerships and associations between the Gilliats, McKinders and the Taylors in mercantile enterprises in Virginia that were probably relations of Ann Mackinder, suggesting there were very close links between the families.) Richard took his wife to live at Welton-le-Marsh, which was east of Hornecastle. The area is known as being one of the prettiest and most impressive parts of the country with extensive views from Welton Mill to the far off Boston Steeple and the Norfolk coast. There were fine views from the hill above Dalby of rich enclosures, with Partney church and village rising on a knoll amidst the woods. In the Vale of Partney the broken banks of the river make a deep and rich display of a fine and mellow reddish loam. These were Richard Gilliat's pasture grounds.

Ann and Richard were married in May and in December Ann gave birth to Twins WILLIAM AND RICHARD. Unfortunately William died within a few days and Richard a few weeks later. In the next ten years Ann gave birth to ten children of which four sons and two daughters were to survive. After the birth of the last child she herself succumbed at the age of thirty-five in 1802 and was buried at Welton. Richard mourned, then out of necessity remarried, this time a widow, MARY CUTFORTH of Orby.

In 1825 Richard was also buried alongside his first wife. His will records that he had employed his money well, a successful businessman, he was quite wealthy. He left lands at Orby, Partney and Dalby. He left four surviving sons Richard, Thomas, William and John, and two daughters Mary and Elizabeth.

The details of the family have been well covered by a descendent of Richards branch of the family Roy Walker and many of the items attached are excerpts from his material.

2ND GEN. RICHARD GILLIAT 1786-1867 Jr. born 1786 in Welton Le Marsh, Lincs, died 1867 in Louth, Lincs. He married ANN ASHLIN 1813. She was born in Sculcoates, Yorkshire, died 1847. Children of RICHARD GILLIAT and ANN ASHLIN are:
ELLEN GILLIAT 1814-1889 Peterborough

RICHARD married ANNE ASHLIN of Sculcoates in Yorkshire in 1813 and continued to farm at Welton, after his father's death he moved to Louth.
His eldest daughter ELLEN GILLIAT, born in 1814, married GEORGE WILLOUGHBY, a relative of her father's stepmother, at St Martin in the Fields in 1841. How this marriage fared is uncertain. Suffice it to say, ten children were born and George disappears from the scene some ten or so years later. Ellen eventually retired to Peterborough and with two of her daughters, AUGUSTA AND SOPHIA WILLOUGHBY, opened a finishing school for young ladies at Westgate House. She taught English and they music. It was neither the first nor the last time the pedantic strain emerged in a member of the Gilliat family. Augusta married JAMES DORIN at St. Marks Peterborough, in 1880 and moved to Brooklyn, New York, with her American husband. Nine years later her mother died and her sister moved the school to St. Leonards Sussex. Augusta took her mother's locket with pictures of her parents across the Atlantic, and today it has passed down to her great-granddaughter, ANN-VIRGINNIA WUNNER of Warrington, Pensylvania.

2ND GEN. THOMAS GILLIAT 1789-1860 married FRANCES EALLIS. She was born 1790. Children of THOMAS GILLIAT and FRANCES EALLIS are:
RICHARD GILLIAT b 1822 d 1885

THOMAS GILLIAT 1789-1860 the second son returned to his mother's house in Partney after his father's death, where, according to the census returns of 1841, he performed the duties of schoolmaster. A trade directory of 1856 also lists him as a postmaster. His son, was yet another Richard.

3RD GEN. RICHARD GILLIAT 1822-1885, tried his hand at farming, but he was ruined as a result of his addiction to drink. He married CHARLOTTE NEAL. She was born 1827, and died 1905. Child of RICHARD GILLIAT and CHARLOTTE NEAL is:
GEORGE GILLIAT 1855-1938 Candlesby

4TH GEN. GEORGE SENIOR (1855-1938) born 1855, died 1938 in Candlesby. He married MARY JACKSON. Children of GEORGE GILLIAT and MARY JACKSON are:

CHARLOTTE GILLIAT b nick-name Lottie d 1965
ALICE GILLIAT d 1975 Spinster
PERCY GILLIAT 1885-1970 South Africa

GEORGE SENIOR being the next in line resolved never to touch a drop of alcohol and prospered as a small grazier, seedman and general store proprietor in the village of Candlesby, Lincolnshire.

5TH GEN. GEORGE GILLIAT Jr. 1882-1970 was Editor of The Evening Standard, proprietor Lord Beaverbrook. He married ANNIE MARY STONE 1882-1968, daughter of HENRY STONE and MARY MILLINER.


LEONARD GILLIAT 1906-1907 died Flue epidemic
SIDNEY GILLIAT b 1908 Edgeley, Cheshire d 1990

GEORGE JUNIOR (1882-1970), George's son, traveled and eventually became the Editor of the London Evening Standard. He in turn was the father of the eminent film family duo Sidney and Leslie Gilliat. Sydney was Director and Screenplay Writer, born in 1908 at Edgeley in Cheshire. George moved his family to London to take up his post with the Evening Standard when Sidney was seven and he eventually studied English and History at London University. Leslie some nine years Sidney's junior also made a remarkable carrier first as Cameraman then as Producer.

Margaret Gilliat was their younger sister and the following are extracts from notes made by MARGRET GILLIAT (SARGENT) and excerpts from ROY WALKER'S 'GILLIAT ENTERPRISES':-

'Before I jot down my memories of my Grandfather (George Senior), I would like to point out that there are several details which I am somewhat vague about, simply because I was the baby of the family (Sidney was 17 when I was born), and quite a lot had been going on before that.

Grandfather (George) was an upright, sprightly man, very neat and particular, for example next-door's cat used to visit and was allowed to sit in front of the fire, but only on a newspaper! In those days he was living in Lowestoft, Suffolk (so was Uncle Fred who was a headmaster).

Memories of Grandmother (Mary Jackson) are blurred, she died when I was quite young.

Grandfather was a 'Teetotaler', all his children signed 'the pledge' and all seemed to regard drinking spirits as evil 'the demon drink'.

My Father (George Junior) was probably one of the rare journalists who was always sober, and at times ended up taking some of his fellow reporters home when they were under the influence! I think my Father was born in Spilsby. Then moved to Stockport, working on the Manchester Guardian, later grandfather joined the Beaverbrook News Team on the Evening Standard and moved down to Surrey.

After I was born in New Maldenwe moved to Cheam, then from Cheam to a large house called 'Hazel Court', The Drive, Belmont. Later moved to East Preston and in 1947 moved to London Ontario Canada and in 1960 moved back to Worthing in England. Father lived to be 97 years old and never wrote his life history, which is a loss to us because he met so many famous statesmen. He retired early, due to ill health. He survived a heart attack. My Mother (Annie Mary Stone) was a lively sociable lady and a member of the 'Wimbledon Operatic Society' and had all the leads in the operas. As a baby I sang Gilbert and Sullivan before I talked and later I studied music at the 'Royal Academy of Music', Piano first then singing and threw it all away when I married a Canadian.

Brother Sidney and Leslie both were in films, and I am sure Leslie can speak on this better than I can. Leslie was a cameraman, he was also a very good photographer and he now lives in Winchester.

Sidney married Beryl, shortly after I caught scarlet fever and was in isolation hospital and very ill for 10 weeks, so things at that time are a little blurry. (It may be of interest to a modern day reader that there were a number of fairly common and highly contagious diseases that periodically caused widespread epidemics of death and suffering. These were to be easily controlled or were even eliminated in later years by the use of antibiotics. This was the era just before the discovery of penicillin and thousands of children died every year as a result of these epidemics. In an effort to control the spread of some designated diseases, anyone contracting such a disease may have been quarantined by a doctor in an isolation hospital or sometimes, if an institution was not available, a private house could be put under quarantine.)

Sidney's eldest daughter Joanna was born on August 23 1935, then Caroline.

6TH GEN. ANN GILLIAT My older sister married GORDON GIBSON and they lived for some time in Mauritius, he was a Charted Accountant in the sugar industry.

Leslie Gilliat was a Captain in the army. Whilst abroad he met another Captain Gilliat who was a Padre, which reminds me there was talk of a Gilliat (maybe Richard), who was Vicar of a church in St. Leonards, Sussex and there was a brass plate on the wall with his name on it. Sadly the church has since been pulled down, there is a story vague as it may seem, that the girl's father built the church for his son-in-law. The plaque would probably have been stored with the diocesan authorities.'

6TH GEN. SIDNEY GILLIAT had the good fortune to grow up with the film industry, starting at the age of 19. By the end of the war, at 37, he had arrived at the forefront of British film making and in the words of a contemporary critic: He is now in the enviable state of being able to decide on story, write it, co-produce it, direct it, and whatever else needs to be done to get a film before the public. His association with co-producer and scriptwriter Frank Lauder went back as far as the 'silents'. Both had an appetite for work, both had a sense of humour, Sidney's the most caustic perhaps.

Appointed initially reader of the 'tripe heap', as the mass of unsolicited scripts was termed, Sidney picked out one and was told to write a synopsis of the story, which later was turned into a film called 'Weekend Wives'.

Sidney is quoted :- 'A little later I was appointed English literary research expert on Thomas Hardy.
'Under The Greenwood Tree' was up to be filmed (in 1929) and as I had read it I got the job. True, it was the only Hardy I had read. But no one else seemed to have read him at all.

'I costumed all the supporting parts. What was more important to me, I thought of a gag. It took ten minutes to tell, but they liked it. It took a day to film, and then it was cut out. But on the strength of it I became a gagman with Walter Forde who was then making many of his comedies. I eventually worked on five films with Forde and later on a couple of talkies.'

'In 1930 I went to Gainsborough as reader and writer. I had written sub-titles for silents in 1928, but now I was able to write a talkie script. The film made early in 1931 was called 'A Gentleman of Paris'. Cedric Belgrave, reviewing it, said, 'The public will be well advised to avoid this'. Later in the year I wrote the film which eventually inaugurated the Gaumont-British Company's program under Michael Balcon and Shepard Bush Studioes. This was 'Rome Express' which I delivered on Christmas Eve, so that I could enjoy Christmas feeling I still had a job to my name.'

The film was made in May 1932, a prototype train thriller with Frank Vosper, Conrad Viedt and John Barry. It received unusually enthusiastic reviews, one critic concluding that it was the best-written British picture ever. What is more, it was an immediate success in America; to be that a British film had to have polish.

In the spring of 1933 Sidney had an interesting encounter with the author Leon Feuchtwanger who had been exiled from Germany. The two worked together at the Hotel-Pension de la Reserve in Bandol on the story of the breakup of a Jewish family in Berlin after the Nazis gained control. It was regarded as too controversial a theme at the time and was abandoned. Feuchtwanger then turned the script into a novel, 'Die Geschwister Oppermann' and after many years this was filmed by West German television in 1983 to mark the 50th anniversary of Hitler's rise to power and broadcast to several European Countries simultaneously'.

'In 1935 Frank Lauder and I collaborated for the first time when we wrote 'Seven Sinners' for Edmond Lowe and Constance Cummings to appear in. It was
'The Lady Vanishes' that we did in 1936 which drew attention to us. It was a classic Hitchcock thriller, filmed in 1938, starring Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave.'

During the thirties Sidney Gilliat worked as a screenwriter, generally together with others, on some two dozen films; comedies, thrillers, musicals and dramas. He was responsible for the creation of the imperturbably English characters of Charters and Caldicott, who first appeared in the 'Lady Vanishes', the later in 'Night Train To Munich' and 'Millions Like Us'. They also became the chief characters of the two six-part radio series, scripted by Lauder and Gilliat.

It was a decade in which film writers had a tough time. Respect for them was shown only if, in Sidney's words, they were veterans, celebrities or, of course, Americans. Not until 1937 when the Screen Writers Association was formed did the position begin to improve.

The thrillers contained some of Sidney Gilliat's best original work. With leading characters from an elite background mixing with the ordinary, everyday people and a suspense created by 'kangaroo plotting'
whereby the story progressed by leaps and bounds rather than by a steady perambulation. A plot full of ingenious twists and turns is typical, and in this respect there is a common ground with Alfred Hitchcock whom Sidney encountered on several occasions before he departed for America. He recalls him driving me around Leicester Square and pointing across at the Empire and saying: 'That's the first time I've had my name in lights above the title'. The film was 'The Lady Vanishes' in 1938.

I wrote 'They Came By Night' (in 1940) and then Frank and I collaborated on the 'Night Train To Munich' (1940), which was successful both here and in America, partly because the outbreak of war just as we were completing the script enabled us to make some topical changes.

'I did two solo jobs 'The Girl in The News' and H.G. Well's 'Kipps'. I remember when I met H. G. Wells and explained to him how it was proposed to treat Kipps, mentioning the character of Sid Pornick, Wells interrupted to ask 'Who is Sid Pornick?' He had forgotten.

Frank and I came together for another major production when 'The Young Mr Pitts' was planned. On the next film we wrote we were allowed our head, and able to direct it as well as to write it. That was 'Millions Like Us' (1943). It portrayed the contribution of the county's factory girls, taken from every strats of society, to the wartime fight for victory. 'We shot as much as we could in actual factories, hostels and gun sites. For the dancehall scene we had real serving soldiers, airmen and firemen - several hundred lent us for a couple of days by the services. I think it gives you the feeling of what it was like to be in a town in Britain around 1943. Whilst this moving story of the people on the home front was having its great triumph throughout Britain, Sidney was at work on yet another wartime melodrama, writing and directing 'Waterloo Road'(1944) with John Mills, Joy Shelton, and Stewart Granger. It was the unusual story of a working class neighbourhood in London during the less victorious days of the war, one of the first films ever to enter the environment and thus meet with popular appeal.'

Shortly after this, in 1944 Gilliat and Lauder founded their own film company 'Individual Pictures Ltd.' 'The Rake's Progress' was the company's first picture with Rex Harrison in the title part and Lilli Palmer in the chief supporting role. It was the tale of a young man, essentially an adventurer, who finds himself a misfit in the pre-war world of opportunism and redeems himself and his world in the war. Known as 'Notorious Gentleman' in the United States, the film experienced some difficulty with the censors.

'This is the film nearest to my heart', the idea that there was no longer room. Except maybe in war, for the type of person. Fifty years before he would have been sent to India, or dispatched to South Africa - there was always somewhere you could send the black sheep of the family'. Further successes followed: 'Green For Danger' (1946) with Alastair Sim and Trevor Howard, 'I See a Dark Stranger' (1946) with Deborah Kerr, and 'London Belongs to Me' (1948) with Richard Attenborough. In March 1950 a new film company was formed: Lauder and Gilliat Productions Ltd.

The fifties saw a return to a lighter vain with a concentration on comedies. 'The Happiest Days Of Your Life'(1950) with Alastair Sim, Margret Rutherford and Joyce Grenfell was followed by 'The Belles of St. Tristian's' (1960)with Beryl Reid, Irene Handl and Sid James added to the team. This was a rollicking comedy which turned out to be a great commercial success and a formula for a number of sequels: 'Blue Murder at St. Tinian's' (1957), 'The Pure Hell of St. Trinian's' (1960), 'The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery' (1966) and very much the late comer, 'The Wildcats of St. Trinian's' (1979).

Other types of films, however, were not entirely excluded. 'State Secret' (1950) was a powerful drama, starring Douglas Fairbanks, jr., Herbert Lom and Glynis Johns. It takes place in the fictitious totalitarian state of Vosnia, and at Sidney Gilliat's request a teacher at the London School of Languages invented Vosnian especially for the occasion.

In 1953 came the musical 'The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan', and in 1956 'Fortune is a Woman', a thriller with Jay Hawkins, Dennis Price and Arlene Dahl. All three were written and directed by Sidney Gilliat, besides several others, culminating in the sophisticated film version of Agatha Christie's
'Endless Night'in 1972.

Strangely enough, had it been possible, Sidney would have preferred to work in opera rather than films. In 1963 an opera was made of 'Our Man In Havana' from the novel by Graham Greene. Malcom Williamson wrote the music and Sidney Gilliat wrote the libretto. The opera was performed on July the 2nd, and the following day came some sharp criticism of the libretto in the Times. On July the fourth a letter from Graham Greene was published in the same newspaper: 'I admired the great skill with which the libretto had compressed the action and yet brought out every political point'. As author of the film script (in 1959) may I say I infinitely preferred Mr. Gilliat's libretto?'

By this time Sidney was at the peak of his career. Director of British Lion Films Ltd. From 1958 till 1972 and Chairman of Shepperton Studios Ltd. Till 1970, his life style encompassed a flat in Belgravia, a thatched house in Wiltshire and a villa on the Italian coast near Salerno. Decline for the British film industry came in the late fifties and early sixties with the arrival of television. Cinemas closed (3000 in 1960 compared with 4600 in 1955) and the studios went over to making T.V. series. The days of self-financing were obviously over.

Almost twenty years ago a newspaper report summed up the partnership of Launder and Gilliat in the following, apposite words:
'If the students of the new British Film School took a look at some of Launder and Gilliat's best sequences, they'd find a perfect amalgamation of screenwriting, acting, editing and, above all, comedy timing. Cinematic craftsmanship, but not visual flashiness. The camera always serves the story and the characters never the director's vanity. If some of their latter day comedies have seemed strangely ineffectual, it could be because their humour has remained gentle and good-natured while the times have become more sadistic and violent. The weakness as well as the strengths of their film comes from their being so quintessentially British. They have made a long and talented contribution to British films. They occupy positions of authority and influence, yet have never been known to indulge in double dealing, credit-stealing, back stabbing or financial thuggery. In the movie business this alone entitles them to some kind of immortality, (British Lion Keepers by Theo Richmond)

[A follow up note from N. Gilliat to the above account of Roy Walker. In my search for items on the Gilliat family I came across the report on a musical prize that is given annually at the Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire. The prize was named the 'Gilliat Prize' and on further enquiry it turned out to be a prize for singing in memory of BERYL GILLIAT, who was a talented singer and Sidney's beloved wife. Further CAROLINE BROWN who is the daughter of Sidney and Beryl has taught singing at Dauntsey's School for the past thirty years. She resides in her father's house and has the fondest memories of him. I also picked up a copy of 'The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan' by Isaac Goldberg on the flyleaf of the book is a note and a signature of Sydney Gilliat who had sent the book to a friend as a gift.] His daughter Caroline Brown verified the signature. I also saw a note of the purchase of some original posters by an AMANDA ELIASCH who is the daughter of Caroline Brown and grand daughter of Sydney]


I had the good fortune to meet with Leslie Gilliat, June 2001 in Worthing England. Jean and I were staying at a hotel along the beach and Leslie came down from Winchester to spend the day with us. We were joined by his sister Margaret. We had never met before and I think we all cherished the experience, I know I did. Leslie is in his eighties and doing quite well and I am in my seventies so it was not an overly rambunctious gathering even though we partook of a few glasses of refreshments and we played that old seniors game 'Race you to the washroom'. The main topic of course was family history and Leslie has lived a full and rewarding life. He has traveled widely and has met and worked with many famous people, especially in the entertainment business. He had some very interesting little stories of his experiences and he has a good sense of humour. I felt he would have done well sitting around a campfire in the mountains with a group of friends, the way I had done in my younger days. I asked if he would write a few of these stories down and we would put them in the family history to help brighten it up. I know this is quite a chore at any age but to some the task grows with age. Still I was so happy to receive a package via his niece Carol Grainger and I have attached it below the way he wrote it.

I was educated at Epsom College and when I left at eighteen. I intended to go into Journalism 'my father was editor of 'The Evening Standard' the only teetotaler in Fleet Street?. However, my brother Sydney, had been in the Film Industry for about eight years and that won the day.

I joined Gainsborough Pictures (1928) Ltd. As a camera assistant and worked a twelve hour day, six days a week and sometimes on Sundays as well. However, I worked on a lot of interesting films The Will Hay series including 'Windbag the Sailor', 'Oh Mr. Porter' etc., etc, 'The Lady Vanishes' (Hitchcock), 'Bank Holiday'(Carol Reed), 'Okay for Sound' and 'Alf's Button Afloat' with the Crazy Gang (lovely people) and many others. Practically all these films were shot in 30 days.

The war came and in 1939 I went into the army for the duration. In 1943, I was on the staff of a Brigade HQ, in East Africa and the Brigadier called me in and told me that a film company had arrived and requested assistance. It turned out to be 'Men of Two Worlds' with Thorold Dickenson directing I helped them with various things and he told me I should transfer from the camera department to the production side after the war and use my organizing skills.

The following year, I had two long spells in hospital with amoebae dysentery and was down graded medically. This meant that I had to leave my position of Brigade Transport Officer (and Staff Captain on occasions.)

I returned to Nairobi for a posting and was lucky to join Education & Welfare department to take charge of a small department to travel all over East Africa filming things of interest in native villages and topical items for newsreels etc. this took me all over Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda and Northern Rhodesia. Later on I also took over the Army photographic department which included photographing old fetuses and unknown bugs through a microscope for the local hospitals and the Lancet Magazine!!

When I returned to UK in March 1946, my brother, Sydney, told me that the Rank Organization wanted to form a location unit equipped with boats and aircraft etc and I had an interview and got the job. However, it turned out that this was in the early planning stage and suggested that I should join Frank Launder on 'Captain Boycott' to sort out the Irish locations. After that film finished , Rank decided that they could not afford a permanent location department, and had already started to cut back on some of their production plans.

So I joined Frank Launder again, this time to find a perfect desert island for 'The Lost Lagoon'. This took me to the West Indies and then the Pacific. The location had to be near a main airfield so that we could get our rushes back quickly for processing and also had to be in the sterling area. The Fiji Islands turned out to be ideal and we made the film there. In fact two more Blue Lagoon films were made years later by American companies and they both used the locations that I found in 1947. However, my film career nearly came to an end on that film. Previously, I had flown out on a flying boat to Australia, with Jean Simmons and it took ten days. We only had three nights in hotels, so I could say I slept the other seven with Jean! We had several adventures on that trip out to Sydney, especially in Jakarta where a war was waging between the Dutch and Indonesian guerillas - but that is another story.

Jean visited Melbourne and other cities doing a publicity tour while I stayed in Sydney to purchase equipment to make it possible for a film unit to live on a desert island. Later on I flew on to Fiji with Jean and arranged for a car to take her on the eight hour drive to Suva. I had used a Taylorcraft two seater aircraft to find locations on my previous recce trip. I hated that winding car journey through the mountains to Suva and got the plane to meet me at the Nadi Airport. To cut a long story short, I flew the plane for the first hour but was having trouble with the trim of the aircraft and handed it over to the owner, Tom French. We had had cleared the mountains and had nearly reached the coast but the trouble became worse and Tom said we had to land quickly. He made a brilliant forced landing alongside a river. Tom during the war used to pick up crashed pilots on Pacific Islands before the Japanese got to them and was an excellent pilot.

We found that the tail trim cable had come off of the pulley wheel and jammed. We fixed this and then prepared for take off. There were rocks everywhere and we bounced along the broken up ground with banging noises from the undercarriage and became airborne. We got up to about 120 feet, Tom banked over the river to avoid a hill. The next moment there was a roaring noise from the engine and the nose went down to a vertical position and we nosed dived into the center of the river. The water poured in, and Tom opened the cockpit door but I couldn't undo my seatbelt. I stretched as high as I could but the water level reached my nose and Tom said, 'we are floating' and he was able to cut the seat belt to release me. Actually it turned out we were resting on the riverbed.

When we reached shore, I found a large piece of the propeller lying on the ground. We must have cracked the prop on takeoff and it spun off when we were over the river. (I found out later that there were plenty of sharks in the water as it was close to the river mouth!). We had to force our way through the thick bush to reach a road and Jean arrived at her hotel about ten hours before we got to Suva. Meanwhile search planes were out trying to find us
one had a lifeboat strapped underneath it. This incident was reported in the 'Evening News' and my wife Ann, who was eight months pregnant, was reading the paper in bed when she saw the report on the back page in the Stop Press! Luckily this did not produce a bad affect and my son Michael was safely born a month later.

After that film I became a production Manager and worked with Sydney on 'State Secret', followed by
'No Highway' for 20th Century Fox which starred James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Jack Hawkins and Glynis Johns and many more films followed. I became an associate Producer in 1953 and a Producer in 1960 and was kept very busy over the years working with and for British Lion, Frank Launder and my Brother Sydney, 28th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and Columbia until the early seventies when a slump hit the British Film industry. Things improved in the eighties and I was busy again and the represented Motion Pictures Guarantors of Toronto covering a number of films they were connected with in Ireland until I decided to retire in the mid nineties.

I worked on over a hundred films (including television films) one of my favourite films was
'Ring of Spies' which I produced and was based on the actual Portland spy case involving Harry Houghton, Miss Gee, and the Russian spies Gordon Lonsdale, Peter and Helen Kroger. It was a challenge because I made it for £65,000 and filmed it in four weeks. My technical advisor was Chief Superintendent Smith of the Special Branch and he had arrested all five of them. When I completed the film I was forced to show it to MIS in case any official secrets had been portrayed. They made it quite clear that Chief Superintendent Smith's pension would be stopped if I refused. After the viewing, they requested one cut - a scene where a constable brought in a large tray with mugs of tea when they were listening to a bugged conversation between Houghton and Miss Gee, they considered it frivolous. Prior to the filming, I had a letter from Gordon Lonsdale written in Strangeway Jail threatening to sue me if I went ahead with the film 'he didn't however! The film circuit in the U.K. were frightened to give it proper showing in case they were sued. It had excellent notice in the U.S.A. but they are notorious for hiding any profits and the film is still showing a loss today.

One of the most profitable films was 'Only Two Can Play' starring Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell and Richard Attenborough. Sydney directed and I produced.

Looking back on things, I was lucky to work with some famous American directors on 'No Highway' with Henry Coster who made many famous films including the first Cinemascope film 'The Robe'. With Henry Hathaway on 'Prince Valiant' and '23 Paces to Baker Street' he made 'The House on 92nd Street', '13 Rue Madeliene', 'Call Northside 777', 'True Grit' etc. With Anthony Mann on 'A Dandy in Aspic' He made 'Winchester 73', 'Bend of The River', 'Naked Spur' (all with James Stewart), 'The Glenn Miller Story', 'Fall of the Roman Empire', 'Heroes of Telemark' and 'El Cid' etc. Anthony Mann produced and directed 'A Dandy in Aspic' and I was his Associate Producer, Sadly, Tony died in Berlin with only two weeks left to complete the film. This caused immense problems and Columbia agreed to let Lawrence Harvey (who was starring in the film) complete the filming and then take over supervising the editing and completion of the film. It was a poor decision and the film suffered so much that it became incomprehensible and was not a success, poor Tony must still be rotating in his grave!

After 'The Dandy in Aspic' I produced 'The Virgin Soldiers' (NOT a pornographic film, Neil) but from a best selling novel by Leslie Thomas about conscripts serving in Singapore during the troubles
'there was, however, a prostitute in it called
'Juicy Lucy'!) This was followed by 'The Butler Cup Chain' both were for Columbia.

Each film is a 'One off' with different problems to solve and that made my life very interesting. I have filmed in Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Egypt, Germany, Austria, East Africa, Singapore, Australia, Fiji Islands, Mexico and Caribbean and seen a lot of the World.

Sidney on the other hand, only made one film with locations outside this country, 'State Secrets' in Italy. When I was working some where, Sidney, being chairman of Shepperton Studios and a Director of British Lion Films was busy attending countless board meetings etc. In fact after 'Only Two Can Play' in 1960 he didn't direct another film of his own until his final film, 'Endless Night' in 1971. He did, however, direct the second unit on 'The Great St. Trinians Train Robbery' in 1965.

Sydney was very dependent on his wife, Beryl, who unfortunately died after a long illness in 1981 and I don't think that he ever got over that loss. I also lost my wife, Ann, in 1987 and I can appreciate his feelings.

I was the lucky one because I met Kate on a theatergoers outing in the West End in 1988. We found that we lived near one another and married in October 1989, I also gained a wonderful stepson. Russell, who joins my caring son, Michael. Kate is a Principal Special Needs Officer for the Hampshire Education Department and we have now been married over twelve years and although there is a difference of 30 years between us, we both get along like a house on fire and she is an excellent addition to the Gilliats!

Leslie also took the time to write out:-


1. When I was working on 'Prince Valiant', Henry Hathaway, the American director, told me a story about the early Hollywood days. They were about to start on an early western film. The Production Manager met the Indian Chiefs to discuss the rates fore Indian extras.

'We are willing to pay for Indian Warriors, for Indian Squaws, for Indian Boy' said the production manager. The Indians retired to their tepee for some time and returned and said, 'No deal'! 'Why not' said the production manager. 'for Warrior, for Squaw, for Boy are good rates, what do you want'?

The Indian replied, for Warrior, for Boy very good but for Squaw very bad. We want for Squaw not and then we do deal.

Henry was known as 'Hot Breath Henry' and was very difficult to get along with. On his previous film in the U.K. he had fired two of his production managers. I worked for him on two films, but he was a difficult man to please and I found it hard to hold a unit together with his bullying. My luck held out when, two years later, he cabled from the U.S.A. for me to join him on a film in Africa but I was already working on another film.

We finished filming '23 Paces to Baker Street' on the Saturday before Christmas. He wanted to buy a present for his wife, and I told him all the West End shops were closed. I went to see him off at Heathrow on the Sunday evening. After he had left , the unit driver, Eddie, came up to me and said ‘All hell has broken loose. Henry called me this morning and said, 'Get Aspreys in Bond Street open, I want to shop.'

Eddie in desperation, phoned the police and they gave him one keyholders address in South London. He drove there and the keyholder said he would need the second keyholder who lived in North London. Eddie collected him and dropped them off at Aspreys and then picked up Henry. Afterwards there was a big row. The police were attacked for giving Eddie their addresses, and Aspreys and the two keyholders were in trouble for trading on Sunday. Henry was the only happy one.

Henry was a rich man and told me he owned a lot of those 'Nodding Donkey' oil wells. He told me he loved listening to the engines working because they were saying 'More oil for Hathaway' etc. etc.!
On '23 Paces to Baker Street' we had to build a set portraying an 'Employment Office' by Blackfriars Bridge. Work was completed by Friday, and when I arrived there early on Monday for filming, to my horror, I saw a long queue lined up outside it. Apparently, the art department had put dozens of cards advertising various jobs and the salaries must have been pretty high on some of them. I was nearly lynched when I explained they were all phoney. I felt very sorry for them and ticked off the art department for not covering up the windows over the weekend.

One set was the leading man's (Van Johnson ) apartment who was blind and lived about 23 paces from Baker Street, hence the title. We were driving along the Thames embankment and Henry said, 'I want the apartment built on top of that building overlooking the Thames (The Shell Max House). Fix it for the weekend.' So Henry moved Baker Street to the Thames which was criticized in our press later.


Frank Lauder the director, and myself were conducting a casting session for the sixth form glamour girls for 'Blue Murder at St. Trinians'. It was a very large office and Sydney was in the far corner working on the script of his next film, 'Left, Right and Centre' The casting center had been going for about two hours without a word from Sidney.

A stunning half caste girl was next on the list and she was really beautiful. We asked her various questions and finally, where she was born. She replied very sweetly 'Burma' and then left the room. Frank and I decided that we would definitely use her then Sidney's voice rang out from the distance, 'Now I know why they built that bridge over the River Kwai' and carried on with his scripting, the only words he said all morning.

Some of the scenes in 'Blue Murder at St. Trinians' were in Rome, and I was asked to send the Italian authorities a script. A few weeks passed and I received a letter from them wanting to know if the
'Assassin' in the film was Italian! The location in Rome worked very well and the kids from a nearby orphanage enjoyed themselves tearing around the Coliseum and the Spanish Steps etc.

On 'The Great St Trinnians Train Robbery' Frankie Howard was one of the crooks and he ran a poofy hairdressing salon as a cover. When we were discussing his part with him, I suggested it might be funny if he put on a front hair piece with elastic before dealing with his customers. Frankie was extremely lukewarm about my suggestion and said he would consider it. At that stage, I did not know that he always wore a toupee every day! He finally agreed but it turned out to be a very small hairpiece! The words of St. Trinians school song amused me. They were written by Sidney:-

Maidens of St Trinians
Gird your armour on
Grab the nearest weapon
Never mind which one!
The battles to the strongest
Might is always right
Trample on the weakest
Glory in their plight
St. Trinians! St Trinians!
Our battle cry.
St Trinians! St. Trinians!
Will never die.
Stride toward your fortune
Boldly on your way
Never once forgetting
There's one born each day
Let our motto be broadcast
'Get your blow in first'
She who draws the sword last
Always comes off worse.
St. Trinians! St. Trinians
Our battle cry.
St. Trinians! St. Trinians!
Will never die!

main titles, with a bouncing ball picking out the words to the music, nobody looked at the titles

3. Only Two Can Play

I had a second unit shot to do on the exterior of a library in Swansea. The actor was Graham Stark, and he was playing the part of a very seedy character who was always looking for pornographic material in the library and had to wear a dirty raincoat. The camera was placed by the library entrance and he had to appear from around the corner fifty yards away and scuttle towards the entrance and enter the library. We rehearsed it twice and I sent Graham back to his starting position round the corner and to wait there till I sent the signal for him to start. About two minutes later the sun came out and we called for Graham to appear. Nothing happened so I went around the corner just in time to stop him being arrested by the police for loitering with intent! Every time when I've met Graham since we just burst into laughter about the incident!

One of the locations we needed in Swansea was a house described in the novel as 'A hideous Victorian monstrosity'. T had the script page changed to 'An Imposing Victorian Mansion' I found a house that looked ideal and showed the script pages to the owner's wife. During the conversation she offered me a cigarette and I explained I only smoked little cigars. I showed her the tin and she asked if she could have one as well. It was then agreed that I should return the next evening to discuss the filming with her husband. The next morning I had a frantic call from her saying
'Please don't smoke any cigars when you meet my husband this evening', I unfortunately left the cigar butt in the ashtray beside the bed and my husband is very suspicious about it.!

When the film was finished I invited them both to the premiere held in Swansea. They cornered me after the show and said they had read the novel after we had completed our filming and were terribly upset to read the horrible description of their lovely house.

4. 'State Secret'

When we were filming the mountain scenes for 'State Secret' in Italy, I found I had a crisis on my hands. We had employed Italian Mountain guides to carry our equipment up almost vertical slopes and ones carrying the heavy duty batteries in a harness on their backs were being badly burnt and their cloths ruined by acid leaking. These batteries were vital as they were needed to run the cameras, and the guides refused to carry on. Some bright spark came up with the idea of putting condoms over the battery filler caps, a very good idea but where do you find condoms half way up a mountain in a Catholic Country. However, I had a brainwave, I remembered a complaint from a prop man who shared a room with the camera grip when we were in Trento. He complained that the grip woke him up at all hours and boasted of his conquest with the local girls. The prop-man said 'It ain't natural him acting the way he does, why I myself, haven't had a biological urge for years he is disgusting!'

I got this character on one side and paid him generously for the remainder of his stock of condoms, after all they weren't much use to him up in the mountains. They worked splendidly. No more acid leaked, no more compensation to pay, and they were not noticed by the females on the cast. That is .. until the battery gasses played their part and the condoms expanded, six erect shapes on each battery waving in the mountain breeze and jogging up and down on the guides harness!

Prior to moving to the mountains, we were filming at nighttime in Trento. We were proceeding quicker than anticipated and found we could film an extra scene. But we wanted a blonde lady to act as a double, and where do you find one at three in the morning. I consulted a local taxi driver and he said in the local bordellos. He took me to the first brothel but no suitable blondes were available.

The next one seemed to be much bigger and packed with policemen, custom officials etc. Some were sitting reading newspapers and moved a seat nearer as one of the customers would be taken upstairs by girls covered by a flimsy veil. In a separate room a dozen girls were then paraded in front of me. I picked a likely one and reluctantly paid an enormous fee for her to leave her job early and she went to get dressed and she would be with me in ten minutes. I returned to the unit and sent the taxi back for her but she refused to come and told the driver she enjoyed her job to much! Later a woman near where we were filming came downstairs to complain about the noise we were making and we hired her as the double, and much cheaper.

5. 'Joey Boy' On a film called 'Joey Boy' about spivs in the army, we needed about a dozen mules. I found to my horror that mules were non existent in the U.K. I tracked down five 'Hoppy' and his unrideable mules in Bertram Mills circus. Members of the audience were paid five pounds if they could stay on their backs for one minute. In desperation we hired these five but could not find anymore. I had an idea and went to see the special effects department. I asked them if they could make false long ears to fit on to pony's ears. When they were ready they asked me to get a pony in to see if they would work. Later that day the special effects chap came hobbling in to my office and said, 'I fitted the ears on a pony and it suddenly went berserk and kicked me out of the stable.' He produced the ears and I saw that they had no ear holes and suggested he cut holes in them and try them again. He was very reluctant but did so with a pony outside the stable, and it worked and we had no trouble during the film.

6. I have include this one for you Neil, because I know you like bears and have had great experiences with them, especially their rear ends!
A bear was needed for a scene in the Crazy Gang film 'Alf's Button Afloat'. The London Palladium had a wrestling bear act on stage and the prop department at Gainsborough hired it. The set was the exterior of a forest and consisted of bushes and trees and a big photographic backing at the rear. Camera platform tops were erected on a high fence and two cameras mounted behind it. I was pulling focus on one camera and the bear came out of the woods and approached me and stood on its hind legs and leant against the fence about two feet from my face. I didn't like it very much. After several takes with the bear doing all the wrong things, the trainer got angry at the bear, with the heat of the studio, got angrier. It often disappeared behind the backing, and this made the crew nervous.

Another take was ordered and the bear rushed behind the backing, which started to shake quite violently. I waited for the bear to appear again and I heard shuffling noises and I turned to see the unit rapidly disappearing, some 20 trying to get out of a small door at the same time, others climbing ropes and ladders! I thought it was time for me to scamper but when I turned, ready to leap down I was horrified to see the huge bear just two feet away, staring at me. I took off like a gazelle and ran down the side of the studio but I could hear it just behind me! and gaining! I couldn't run any faster and suddenly I saw this great bear towering alongside me and then it slowly overtook me , so I turned and ran in the opposite direction. Apparently the bear then escaped on to the street outside the studio in Islington and caused a few traffic problems. This episode left the trainer with a badly mauled arm and we had to use one of the out takes! I had to recount my experience on 'In Town Tonight' at the BBC the following Saturday. (In Town Tonight was a very popular radio show of current happenings in the UK).

7. On 'No Highway', we needed a transatlantic airliner. The UK head of 20th Century Fox wanted to use a Tudor aircraft. The film was about a scientist who was convinced that the tail of the aircraft would fall of after 1400 hours of flying. The novel was written by Neville Shute who was a scientist in real life and it was about metal fatigue which hadn't been recognized yet. Two Avro Tudors had recently been lost, one off the Bermuda Triangle and the other crashed in the Middle East killing over a hundred pilgrims.

The Fox lawyers were very concerned that we would get sued if we used the Tudor. The Art Department were told to produce a drawing showing how they could alter the appearance of the Tudor by altering the window shapes and adding pieces on the aircraft. I made an appointment with Sir Roy Dobson head of Avro Aviation and took the sketch with me. I handed over the drawing and he took a quick look at it and pressed a bell on his desk, and a man entered. Sir Roy said, 'This is our chief designer' and handed the drawing to him. 'What does it remind you of?' said Sir Roy. 'Our new prototype in Canada' said the designer and left the room. My heart sank and I realized we were back to square one.

Sir Roy looked up at me and said 'Look, I can see your problem, I will give my word that if you use one of our Tudors we would not sue you.' I replied
'That is very kind if you, would you please let me have a letter stating that fact as I have to satisfy
our lawyers' Sir Roy replied, 'I will shake your hand in agreement, but no letters.' I told Sir Roy I didn't think the lawyers would accept that and they didn't!

Time was running out and we had to make a decision we would find another aircraft and revamp it. I found a complete Halifax bomber and bought it for 400 pounds. We extended the front and added a nose wheel and this brought the tail off the ground. The engines were replaced with four electrical motors and a generator installed in the fuselage. We encased the aircraft with aluminum panels but in 1949 aluminum was in short supply and we could only complete one side! An extra fin was added half way up the tail to make it different from any other aircraft and nobody sued us. Fox wanted a whole lot of shots of flying aircraft to use as backgrounds to the titles. I contacted SBAC and got permission to film at the Farnborough Air Show.

I spent five days with a small camera crew and got some very interesting material shot between the crowd and the runway. When the film was complete I left Denham Studios to prepare another film.

A few weeks later, a letter was forwarded to me. It was from the SBAC. They had just read Neville Shutes book and said they would sue 20th Century Fox if we used any of our Farnborough material, so we had to find new title backgrounds. This indicates how nervous they were about tails falling off. They, and Neville Shute were right because the Comet disasters, due to metal fatigue, occurred not long afterwards.

8. It is not always easy to predict what is going to happen on a film. I was engaged by Warner Brothers to find a location in Ireland and organize a two week shoot for 'The Spirit Of St. Louis', the story of Lindberg flying the Atlantic. I carried
out my recce work and was told to report two weeks later. I took my family to Cornwall for a holiday and said I would pick them up at the end of the month, as it was only a short job.

When I arrived back, instead of Ireland, I was told to fly to Paris immediately. Everything was in confusion there and the film crew were still somewhere in Alaska. I was handed a whole lot of shooting schedules sent by the unit to see if I could work out their intentions. All their correspondence didn't make a lot of sense, then a cable arrived to ask someone to fly to Spain to get permission for low flying shots over the Alhambra in Granada and the Bull Ring in Ronda. I was asked to do this so I flew to Madrid. I had a very difficult time obtaining the permits (Manana etc.) and when I reached Ronda, I had an even harder time trying to get permission for an aircraft to dive towards the building when the starting parade entered the ring. The Impresario wanted me to hire the bullring and put on a bullfight myself. I got a local lawyer to draw up the two alternatives although I had no intentions of using his idea.

I flew back to Paris to find that the unit was still in the wilds but they had sent another cable asking for someone to gain permission for an aircraft to dive on the Pyramids. You guessed, yours truly flew to Caro. I had to secure an appointment with Egypt's head of security, with the Warner's office manager as interpreter. After a long interview, the Colonel gave permission providing that one of his security men traveled on the aircraft as well. I tried to obtain this in writing but failed.

I contacted Paul Mantz, who was providing aerial support on the film and he flew out. When everything
was ready. I called the Colonels office to pick up their security man and the secretary said he wasn't available. I demanded to see the Colonel and an excited conversation took place. I was then told that permission had been withdrawn. I was furious and told the interpreter, who was very frightened by now, what I thought of the Colonel. The Colonel went purple in the face and screamed, 'We are at war, We are at war' in English and had me thrown out! This was in 1953 before any conflict in the Middle East.

When I reported this to Paul Mantz, he looked at me with amazement. He said 'When I came in to land, I heard a troop plane carrying G.I.s asking for permission to divert so they could all see the pyramids!' I said, 'You do the same tomorrow when you take off but I must get out of the country first otherwise I will be arrested.' I caught the first scheduled plane out for Paris the next day. As we took off, the pilot announced, I am going to fly low over the Pyramids so you folks can get a good look at them, and he flew clockwise and then anti-clockwise, he did the same over Mount Blanc that's how flying used to be!

Later on, I cabled the Spanish Impresario that we had decided to film the bullring parsed the next afternoon. I received an immediate reply that the weather was bad and I should hire the Bull Ring etc at a later date. I cabled back, Sorry must be tomorrow Muchas Gracias!. At 5pm. Paul Mantz circled around but no parade appeared. After waiting about ten minutes he bobbed over the nearest mountain and returned shortly afterwards, and secured the required shot! It must have been the first time the bullfight had started so late.

The two episodes were crazy ideas that Lindberg had suffered hallucinations on two occasions and he had veered of course, however, they were not included in the final film.

The unit arrived in Paris but still had no shooting script and it was a shambles. I was called in to assist and after two weeks, I cornered the Producer and Director Billy Wilder, at the Ritz hotel and managed to find out their plans for Ireland and flew there the next day. When they eventually arrived in Ireland, everything went well and they went back to America in about six days.

I left my wife in Cornwall on August 5th and saw her again when I returned home on October 17th! A nice three-week engagement and I had to collect my caravan from a deserted Cornish field.

Note: Paul Mantz used his converted B25 plane to film all the early cinerama films using three cameras mounted in the nose. He came out of retirement to fly a 'made up' plane for the British film 'The Flight of The Phoenix' He crashed and was killed. The film is dedicated to him.

6TH GEN. MARGARET GILLIAT married (1) ERIC ARTHUR THOMSEN, A Canadian, and died May 14, 1972. She married (2) ALLEN SARGENT
ERIC (RICK) ALAN THOMSEN b October 19 1949 m in 1995 SUSAN LINKEN b May 14 1948
LYNDA MARGRET THOMSEN b December 28 1957

7TH GEN. CAROL ELIZABETH THOMSEN born June 06, 1947, married (1) ALLEN ROBERT CLARK, married (2) KEITH JAMES GRAINGER 1989
DUANE ALAN CLARK b September 24 1969
Carol Grainger has been instrumental in constructing a website of the family and is very interested in the family history. My wife and I had the pleasure of Carol and Keith's hospitality on our recent visit in the Worthing area. They have a real love of animals and I have attached material on their experiences at the end of this section. Their son Duane is living in Yorkshire at the time an unfortunately I was not able to meet with him.

7TH GEN. LYNDA MARGRET THOMSEN born December 28, 1957, married ALAN LAMPER born May 19 1949.
Children of LYNDA THOMSEN and ALAN LAMPER are:

5TH GEN. FRED GILLIAT died in 1973 married to HANNAH 'CISSIE' ? They had one child:-
JOYCE GILLIAT Died in Harrogate 1988

Fred Gilliat was in WW1 and was gassed and made a full recovery. He was a headmaster at a school in Lowestoff and also did work for blind people, including reading and recording for the 'talking books for the blind'. His wife liked to be called Cissie and was known to the local children as 'Aunt Gilliy'. Fred was ever the perfect gentleman and quietly spoken. He died on Christmas morn at his home in 1973. Their daughter Joyce Gilliat married JIM ARMISTEAD AND THEY HAVE A SON HARRY ARMISTEAD whose wife's name is ELFRIEDA.

5TH GEN. PERCY GILLIAT 1885-1970 in South Africa He married MAUD (NELLIE) HODSON.
Children of PERCY GILLIAT and MAUD HODSON are:
DONALD GILLIAT b 1917 Durban South Africa
JOAN GILLIAT m SMITH Joan and Donald Married Smith Brother and sister

PERCY GILLIAT an uncle of Sidney Gilliat's was responsible for the settlement of the family in the last of the five continents, Africa. Trained to be a monotype operator in the printing trade and later employed as a lecturer at the Manchester School of Technology, he was invited two years later to accept a post with Electrical Press Ltd. of Durban. He stayed with this firm for almost thirty years, during which time he saw his department grow from one keyboard and one typecasting machine to five times the size. It was largely due to his efficiency, pleasant manner and willingness, and above all the high standard of his work that earned for the firm a reputation for quality and timely production of the jobs awarded it.

He had married MAUD ELLEN HODSON, a lecturer at the Hyde School of Art near Manchester and a gifted painter in both oil and water colors. Their children, DON GILLIAT AND JOAN GILLIAT, still live in South Africa. The latter married a farmer and had to learn not only about farming, but also the local African language. The former followed in his father's footsteps, training with the same firm and eventually taking Percy's place as foreman when he retired in 1952. The third generation to work in the printing trade is Don's son ALLAN GILLIAT, at present specializing in photolithography with the firm Hirt and Carter.

The third surviving son of RICHARD and ANNE GILLIAT was :-
2ND GEN. WILLIAM HENRY (1791- 1868) died in Barham House, East Hoathly, Sussex. Lived in Richmond VA. He married SOPHIA GILLIAT 1820-1866 daughter of BENJAMIN and ELIZA GILLIAT. She was born in Horncastle - Children of WILLIAM GILLIAT and SOPHIA GILLIAT are:

William Henry married Sophia the daughter of his uncle Benjamin Gilliat and they spent many years in Richmond Virginia where they lived after the demise of their uncle Thomas Gilliat. Presumably William went as the agent for John K. Gilliat of London but as it is noted elsewhere he was also a partner for a few years with his cousin, John Henry Gilliat son of Thomas. He was involved in the social and business scene in Richmond and is often mentioned in accounts of the local histories for some of his activities. The following is from a paper of the Indiana Gilliats who found the following information while researching their own history. William was an established merchant in Richmond, Virginia in 1816 and was advertising in the newspapers. He was also a ship's broker. He owned a one-third interest in the same coalmine that Thomas owned a one third interest in. He does not show on any records prior to 1816. The 1830 census records two males in his household, five to ten years old (William and Richard). His home in Richmond burned in 1832 and he is not on the role after that except as John & William Gilliat Co. (John Henry was the second son of Thomas). In 1840 he was in London and in 1851 the balance of his warehouses, lots, houses etc. in Richmond were sold.

He returned to England with a fortune and retired to Barham House, East Hoathly, Sussex. He left effects worth almost £60,000, including large bequests to his children, or in the case of William Henry to his grandchildren for his elder son had pre-deceased him by several years at the early age of thirty-three.

3RD GEN. WILLIAM HENRY JNR (1822-1855) married MARIE GILLIAT 1823-1908 in 1851. Children of WILLIAM GILLIAT and MARIE GILLIAT are:
EVELYN AUGUSTA GILLIAT b 1853 m REV C.E.SAUNDERS. had also lived for sometime in Richmond.

William Henry Jr. died at thirty three year of age and left his widow Marie and two small children. Fortunately thet were well provided for by William Sr.

4TH GEN. HUBERT ADKIN (1852-1890) married FANNY MACKWOOD d 1913 Children of HUBERT GILLIAT and FANNY MACKWOOD are:
EVELYN GRACE GILLIAT1887 - ? m HYDE b Proffessor de Seigneux

The wanderlust did not desert succeeding generations. The elder grandson and son of William Henry Jnr., dissipated much of his inheritance as a young man, entertaining lavishly, then married Fanny Mackwood from Colombo (they say to avoid creditors). In Ceylon the Mackwood family supplied him with accommodation and occupation, managing the Goonambil Cocoa Estate near Kandy. However, he did not settle either to the climate or his new lifestyle, so departed to farm in Australia. At Rockhampton in Queensland a daughter, Evelyn Gilliat, was born, to be followed in 1887 by a son, Lionel Oswald Gilliat. Shortly after this Hubert deserted the family and was not heard of for three years until the police arrived on Fanny's doorstep, by now in Dulwich, to report that a Hubert Adkin Gilliat had been run over by a locomotive down in Devonshire. Suicide seemed probable.

5TH GEN. LIONEL OSWALD GILLIAT (1887-1975) married 1913. CASSANDRA PAGE-TURNER ( -1965) Both Hubert's son and grandson made a living in the tea business. Lionel, the former, remained in Ceylon till just after the Second World War and his son

6TH GEN. PETER GILLIAT (1914-) the latter, remained a planter on the Mackwood's estates till 1958, then moved to the Highlands of Scotland where he continued to trade in 'GILLIAT'S CEYLON TEA' and other ventures.

ROSEMARY GILLIAT His sister moved to Canada where she spent some years as a talented, nationally known photographer with a weekly national magazine and freelancing. She married MICHAEL EATON and settled NEAR Cole Harbour, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

When Hubert had moved to Queensland, he was possibly thinking of his Uncle Richard (son of Thomas Gilliat) who had preceded him hence some twenty years earlier.

3RD GEN. RICHARD GILLIAT 1822 married EMILY SARAH CLODE April 18 1861 in St. Jame's Morpeth, NSW. Australia, daughter of JOHN CLODE and SARAH POTTS. She was born 1843 in St. Peter's West Maitland, NSW. Australia.
SYDNEY WILLIAM ERNST GILLIAT b 4/5/1862 at Mount Torrens Seaham parish Morpeth,co Northumberland NSW
VIRGINIA SOPHIA GILLIAT born 1822 in Richmond VA

Richard spent sometime in Virginia and then proceeded to Australia.

Roy Walker writes:- The Gilliat family owns a memorial which may live on after every branch has died out. In the early 1860s

Many of the remote areas of Australia were still being explored. In 1859 Duncan McIntyre, who had journeyed with his family from Scotland to Melbourne in 1836, decide together with his brother Donald to proceed as wandering pastoralists to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They were held up south of the Queensland border by the flooding of the river Darling and the prohibition of entry into the colony after their sheep had been infected by scab. After an exploratory foray northwards in search for good grazing country. Duncan McIntyre, who by 1864 was well established in the public mind as an explorer, returned, and the two of them decided to try their original objective, making north from Victoria and following close to the trail of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Places were still being named and the creek where the brothers were initially located they called Gilliat, presumably after one of their party. Closer settlement did not commence until the early years of this century, and the township of Gilliat, which resulted, is still today merely a sleepy rail-side settlement of 15 people. It is a place where you can drive for hundreds of kilometers through plains of endless pale yellow grass without seeing a tree or the slightest gradient to soften the linear landscape. This is much as Richard Gilliat must have seen it when the first white man arrived, and certainly a contrast to the American state where Richard must have also participated in the management of his father's affairs. The names of Richard's four children reflects his world wide itinerary: Sydney, Adelaide, Trentham, and Virginia.

(Note by N.Gilliat: As previously mentioned my wife and I traveled through Gilliat and the surrounding plains. It had been without rain for five years, however, there was an occasional clump of bush that provided shelter to the odd kangaroo and emus but it was as Mr. Walker suggests never ending and formidable. Also I am not prepared to take issue as to whether it was Richard or Tom Gilliat, the river (it was a river not a creek and at times could be a mile wide) was named after, for there is no doubt they were both there and suffice it to say it was named after one of the family.)

This Richard Gilliat also features in the letters of Rachel Henning, sister of Bidulph and Annie who sailed to Australia on the S.S. Great Britain in1853. Rachel and another sister, Amy, followed them out a year later, but the former did not find the new territory to her liking and returned to England in1856, finally deciding to join her kin permanently in 1861. She soon went to live with her brother Biddulph on his recently acquired lands in the north of Queensland on the Bowen River, which he called Exmoor. The nearest settlement was Port Denison, over a hundred miles away.
Having stocked Exmoor with several thousand sheep, two years later in 1864 Bidulph Henning decided to journey 350 miles east to the river Flinders to see about the possibility of obtaining more land in the area. He first sent out two employees on January 7th, then: A few weeks after, Biddulph sent out a Mr. Gilliat, who overtook the expedition about 150 miles from here. We heard of Mr. Gilliat's having joined camp.

It was virgin territory. As Rachael goes on to explain in her letter by the new Land Act, whoever puts his stock on a new piece of country and then puts in his tenders for it to Government, has the right of occupying that country as a sheep run. Biddulph sent out 7000 sheep under the care of a superintendent with the orders to occupy some land on the Flinders River, found it occupied, heard of some better country a hundred miles beyond, pushing his sheep out there and 'took up' eight blocks, each containing fifty square miles of beautiful open downs, stretching along the bank of the river for fifty miles, he has left a superintendent, a Mr. Gilliat, to take care of the new station, and he will probably hold it until land becomes valuable over there and then sell it.

This was then the same period that the McIntyre brothers were in the area and the River Gilliat was first named. However, the new superintendent does not appear to have stayed long, according to a letter written by Rachel Henning to her sister Henrietta in England on Christmas Day: All our own people are at Lara or on the road there. The Flinders River station is a sort of Moloch and has swallowed up sheep, horses and men from Exmoor. 5000 sheep are already there and 3000 more are on their way. About twenty horses are gone and Mr. Gilliat is out there taking charge of the station. There has been some difficulty about finding a superintendent for Lara (the property comprised eight blocks of 25 square miles each, stretching from Alice Creek to the junction of the Cloncurry River, a tributary of the Flinders). Biddulph is dissatisfied with Mr. Gilliat and has written to recall him. The Flinders party arrived back from the Lara station the following April 30th. Mr. Gilliat did not come on here.

It was possible that he had enough of such a distant outpost. Certainly it subsequently proved no easy task for Biddulph to find a successor. Never the less, it was not to be Rachel's last encounter with the ex-superintendent. In October 1865 she left Exmoor to sail on the S.S. Rangatira for Sydney and reported: A Mr. Gilliat is on board whom we knew at Exmoor, and who at one time had charge of the Flinders station for Biddulph. He is a pleasant gentlemanly man. After a somewhat turbulent voyage lasting three days they docked in Sydney harbour on Friday 20th October. The following March Rachel married Deighton Taylor, whom she had known from Exmoor, and went to live at Bulahdelah on the Myall River, 22 miles from Stroud, New South Wales. Some contact with the elusive Mr. Gilliat seems to have been maintained: I still take in the Cornhill Magazine. There is rather a good story in it by Anthony Trollope called 'The Claverings' Mr. Somerville (her husbands new employer) takes the Sydney Herald, but I do not often read it. I like to look at the Port Denison papers, which come here for Mr. Gilliat.

4TH GEN. SYDNEY WILLIAM ERNST GILLIAT born 4/5/1862 at Mount Torrens, Seaham parish of Morpeth,Co Northumberland NSW, married JANE PARNEL BUGNALL- OAKLEY. Children of SYDNEY GILLIAT and JANE OAKLEY are:
RALPH GILLIAT d November 29 1963 Kansas City
LEOFRIC GILLIAT b 1923 Australia?

Sydney entered Chanvellors School, Lincoln UK 1896, was a priest 1899, various livings, the register of electors list him at Trecefn, Hereford Road, Monmouth in 1939. They had four children, Ralph, Winifred, Leofric (born 1923 in Australia) and Marjorie. Widow Jane Parnel Gilliat (nee Bagnall-Oakley) and daughter Winifred were still living in 1945

5TH GEN. RALPH GILLIAT Kansas City, married ELIZABETH M. She died August 30 1965 in St. Joseph, Mo. Children of RALPH GILLIAT and ELIZABETH M are:
WILLIAM RALPH GILLIAT October 3 1920 St. Joseph MO d. Mar 9th 1987
WILSON GILLIAT b Pensacola Florida
ANNE GILLIAT b Kansas City m VAN DYNE. settled in the Kansas City area and had three children:-

6TH GEN. WILLIAM RALPH GILLIAT (1920-1987) was born October 3 1920 St. Joseph MO, died Mar 9th 1987, married JANE THOMASINE CURRY. She was born April 05, 1924 in Kansas City, died May 17 1993

DENISE WRAY GILLIAT b 01/07/1950 Fairfield County od Solano CA m NORGARD
BRUCE CURRY GILLIAT b 05/05/1959 Fairfeild County of Solano CA m JEAN GRAHAM

7TH GEN. BRUCE CURRY GILLIAT lives in Alameda California. He is a prominent figure in the electronics world and was a co owner of Alexis a prominent communications system on the Internet.

John Gilliat was the youngest son of Richard and Anne Gilliat:-

2ND GEN. JOHN GILLIAT born 1792, died 1867 in Old Hall Farm, Donnington on Bain, married SUSANNAH ABRAHAM 1816. She was born 1792 in Thorpe, Lincs, died 1878. Children of JOHN GILLIAT and SUSANNAH ABRAHAM are:
MARY GILLIAT b 1821 mar in 1843 SAMUEL THORNALLY b Wainfleet, Brick and tile maker
ELIZA GILLIAT b 1829 married in 1851 THOMAS WORTH Farmer at Thorpe St. Peter, Lincs

John Gilliat the fourth son of Richard, was destined to a much more modest, if totally respectable, future. On March the 19th 1816, at the age of 23, he married SUSANAH ABRAHAM (1792-1878) of Thorpe St. Peter, where he subsequently settled in the Old Hall Farm. They had four sons and six daughters, most of whom married locally. Even today Thorpe St. Peters is a scattered village, lying about two miles from Wainfleet on the road to Spilsby, and no doubt it does not look much different from what it did a hundred years ago or more. In the decade from 1811 to 1821, during which period John Gilliat arrived there, the population had doubled from 196 to 381, and the rise continued steadily till it reached its peak at 649 in 1871. After that a decline in population set in and as agriculture became depressed, among those to leave the village community were John's son:-

3RD GEN. ALFRED (1824-1903) married in 1848 (1) BETSY CUTFORTH 1824-1852, married in 1853 (2) HANNAH SIMPSON 1832- 1920
EMMA GILLIA 1850-1852
JOSEPH GILLIAT b 1856 railwayman d 1929
JOHN GILLIAT 1859-1942
FRED GILLIAT 1864-1875
ROBERT GILLIAT 1877-1949 Mansfield

Alfred who having lost money in a horse breading venture, left his wife Hannah Simpson and home to seek fresh pastures. Success remained elusive, and some twenty years later, in 1903 he died alone in a Southwell workhouse in neighbouring Nottinghamshire

Earlier in the nineteenth century the place must have seemed attractive to the farmer and the grazier. It was an extensive Parish, only a mile in width, but stretching seven miles from east to west and containing some 2880 acres, including good marshland and a large allotment of the East Fen, good grazing country. A few houses clustered together, but most farms and cottages were well dispersed. The church, sandstone built in the decorated style, was the oldest building with an early Jacobean pulpit. Nearby stood Thorpe Hall, built around 1800, evidently on the site of an older medieval building, as traces of a moat remained. The local people claimed that Dick Turpin had once slept there. Further along the road stood the Old Hall Farm, home of the Gilliat's, a brick built house with a stone bearing the date 1657.

4TH GEN. JOSEPH GILLIAT 1856-1929 railwayman. In 1879 he married SARAH ELIZABETH BRETT 1861-1934 1879. Children of JOSEPH GILLIAT and SARAH BRETT are:
ERNEST JOSEPH GILLIAT 1888-1972 miner at Ibstock
ETHEL RUTH GILLIAT 1892-1983 m HARRY ? b Reading

Alfred was not the first to desert his family and the Lincolnshire countryside. His second son Joseph had decided some ten years previously in 1874 at the age of 18 that farming was not for him. He duly ran away to London where he found a job on the railways, supplementing his income by dealing with Jewish traders, as a result of which he developed a sideline in buying and selling watches. Five years later he met and married Sarah Eliza Brett from Suffolk, then a lady's maid to Lady Mount Morris. Joseph's mother never approved of the match and felt he had married beneath himself. Such was the Victorian way of things. He seldom returned to Lincolnshire to visit her.

Three children were born and then suddenly Joseph was transferred to a country station at a tiny village of Heather in Leicestershire. The reason for the move remains obscure.

Some say that he had throat trouble from the sulphur fumes of a city station; others that his drinking habits became so excessive that his superiors considered a quieter location very desirable. The family moved into a three hundred year old house, called Pump Cottage because it once boasted its own well and water supply. Now, however, the well stood dry, and water had to be carried from the village well. The cottage was also next to the Queen's Head, which at times was to prove a trifle too convenient. The rent was two shillings a week, plus sixpence for the use of a large garden. There were three bedrooms and a large sitting room with a spacious baker's oven next to the open fire, where Sarah baked her own bread. Water was heated in a big pot above the kitchen fire. Flagstones covered the floor.

Such were the blessings of so-called domestic bliss. However, there were compensations. Garden produce was transformed into homemade jams and pickles; eight small kegs were replenished annually with rhubarb and elderberry wine. The local farmer killed his own beast and delivered the meat fresh to the door; likewise with milk. There was a pig sty in the garden, and a flitch of bacon would always be hanging in the house. Chickens were kept for a constant supply of fresh eggs. Joseph would also obtain permission in season to fish for trout on the squire's estate, and when deer was hunted they were some times the recipients of a good piece of venison. Emphasis still lay very much on the notion of self-sufficiency.

Despite a healthy diet life remained precarious. In 1890 a scarlet fever epidemic at Heather resulted in the death of several children, including the two eldest Gilliat offspring. Ernest Joseph(1888-1972) and his sister, Ethel Ruth survived. They were dispatched to the village school before they could hardly toddle. Their father was particularly keen that they should learn.

Joseph himself had received a sound basic education and, unlike many of his contemporaries was able to read and write. People came in from the village to ask him to read their letters to them and pen a reply. Such a one was Little Nell, barely four and a half feet tall and always in a long black dress and apron. She always brought the penny stamp for the postage plus a penny coin for the services rendered, but the latter was always politely, but firmly, refused.

Few of the Gilliat relatives from Lincolnshire ever visited. Joseph did have a much younger brother called Robert (1877-1949) who once paid a call at the tiny cottage. After their father had fallen on hard times Robert had to rely very much on his own resources to make a living. At seventeen he worked on a Poultry farm at Woodhall Spa, then drove steam lorries for the removal firm of Proctor's, his marriage certificate described him as an engine driver. In 1916 the family moved to Mansfield where Robert became the first to drive a lorry for the brewery. He called it Amy after Amy Johnson who made her famous flight to Australia.

The son of Alfred and grandson of Richard :-
4TH GEN. ROBERT GILLIAT 1877- 1949 in Mansfield. In 1902 he married EMMA MARSHALL 1881-1939. Children of ROBERT GILLIAT and EMMA MARSHALL are:
He had three sons from whom are descended many others by the name of Gilliat. A number worked either for Mansfield Brewery or Clipston Colliery.
David John and Jennifer Gilliat had two children STEPHANIE GILLIAT 1966 and RICHARD GILLIAT 1970. Richard Gilliat has attained some fame in the Heavy Metal Music business in the U.K. and performs with the Luther Beltz Band.

Back to Joseph's children, ERNEST and ETHEL. They were educated in strict disciplined fashion at Heather National School. On weekdays they were expected to be in line in the school playground by 8.50 a.m., ready for inspection of shoes, hands, etc. by the headmaster. After prayers and a hymn, lessons would begin: Scripture, Singing, Arithmetic, Spelling and so on. On Friday afternoon, as the children proceeded out of the building, a final admonishment would be delivered by the headmaster: 'Tomorrow is Saturday. See that you help your parents in any way they wish. Give them your full respect, and remember the Commandments. Sunday school at 9.30 a.m.'

And so it was: Saturday was the day when chores were done---sweep the yard and the paths, clean out the chickens, fetch the water, and so on---then church on Sunday mornings, and if they were really lucky, an afternoon walk down the country lanes with dad. The weekly routine was broken only by annual traditional events such as the Wakes in June, which consisted mainly of a few swinging boats and a coconut shy, or Maypole Day, when the children dressed up in ribbons and sang 'Spare a penny for the Maypole', or Molly dancing at Christmas, when they toured the village dressed in anything they could find and blackened their faces. Sometimes there was an unexpected surprise as when Farmer Poynton's cow slipped her halter at the slaughterhouse door, and sensing something both momentous and disagreeable was about to happen, cantered down the village street as fast as her bovine limbs would carry her. At last in some desperation, she turned in at some open cottage door, hoping to find refuge, and in her confusion devastated all the best china displayed on the dresser before making an even more turbulent exit to the rear.

5TH GEN. ERNEST JOSEPH GILLIAT 1888-1972 a miner at Ibstock. In 1908 he married EDITH ADA BALL 1888-1940. Children of ERNEST GILLIAT and EDITH BALL are:
MAY GILLIAT 1907-1943

Ernest Gilliat left school in 1900 at the age of 12. Prospects were limited to the farm, the coalmine, or the brickworks. He seemed not to have inherited any of his ancestors' longing for new pastures, was to young to go underground, so chose to don a little leather apron and carry bricks from the kiln to the rail truck. The first year he worked from 6 a.m. till 3 p.m., the second two hours longer. He earned 2 shillings and 6 pence a week, of which he was allowed to retain 10% as pocket money. Two years later he changed jobs, seeking employment at the pit where he could earn four times as much. By the age of twenty he was married.

By 1926 he had six growing children and no work for six months once the General Strike was called. He and his fellow miners would visit the old Heather coal mine and dig sacks of coal from the surface. The children had to seek employment in the Leicester factories as soon as they could leave school. Thus Grace Gilliat became a factory girl at the age of fourteen, but not for long. As soon as the miners were back at work she was required to stay at home to perform the duties of a house wife in lieu of an increasingly invalid mother.

6TH GEN. GRACE GILLIAT 1913-1973. In 1913 she married ALFRED STINSON WALKER. Children of GRACE GILLIAT and ALFRED WALKER are:

Thus Grace did not marry till her late twenties, and the first years of her marriage were accompanied by the unwelcome events of far reaching consequences; the outbreak of a war that threatened to take her husband away from her; the death of her mother, which left her with the additional responsibility of a widowed father to look after; and the birth of her first son.

That was me (Roy Walker), perhaps to prove the most unwelcome challenge of all!

7TH GEN. ROY STINSON WALKER born 1941. In 1969 he married MARGRET JOAN BRACEY. She was born 1940.
Children of ROY WALKER and MARGRET BRACEY are:

In September of this year 2001, Jean and I had the pleasure of meeting Roy and Margaret for the first time. We have corresponded over the years and we have exchanged an awful lot of material and data of the Gilliat Family History. I am sure it was because of him and the knowledge he had gained by plain old hard research encouraged me to believe there was a lot of information out there if one keeps digging and has the patience.

Roy and Margaret have had careers as school teachers. From hard beginnings such as Roy writes about it is very much to his credit. They have both traveled widely and Roy quite often leads tour parties to different and interesting parts of the world.

For all his travels and experiences I believe he will remember the day he went to the Calgary, Alberta airport to fly on his way home. It was September the eleventh year 2001, the day of the tragic happenings at the World Trade Center in New York. He was grounded and stranded and so it was my son James and his good wife Jill Gilliat to the rescue. They found a place in their home for Roy and Margaret until the airways were back flying again. The attached photograph is of Roy and Margaret when we visited the 'Dry Island Buffalo Jump' which is an hours drive from our home in Red Deer.

7TH GEN. JEFFEREY WALKER born 1944. In 1967 he married VIVIEN SANDERSON She was born 1947.

7TH GEN. STEPHEN WALKER born 1952. He married FRANCES NICOL. She was born 1952.


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