Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The men and women who died in the Great War came from all sorts of backgrounds and are memorialised in many ways, but there can't be many to whom a single stained-glass window in a cathedral is dedicated. One such is Major Angus George Gillman and the window is in the east wall of St. Thomas's Church, later Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral.
The Gillman family had been closely connected to St. Thomas's since the 1850s when Angus's grandfather George Gillman had been a banker at the bank of Grant, Gillman and Long operating out of No. 60 High Street, almost opposite the church. At the time the family were living at No. 25 High Street. Although the bank did not survive long as an independent business the Gillmans were to remain in banking in Portsmouth for 60 years, George being followed in the business by his son William, the father of Angus.
Angus was born in 1882 to William and his wife Maud who already had 5 or possibly 6 daughters. At the time they were living at Wytham Lodge, 7 Lennox Road, Southsea. William and Maud later moved to 47 Clarence Parade.
The army records for Angus Gillman have not been traced, but we know that he was a member of the British Expeditionary Force that departed for France in 1914 and that by 1917 he was a Major in the Royal Field Artillery, Battery 52. He was awarded the Military Cross, but again, details are not known. He was killed in action at Vimy on 29th April 1917 and was buried at Ecoivres Miltary Cemetery, Mont-St. Eloi, Pas de Calais, France.
To commemorate the loss of their son Angus, William and Maud Gillman paid for the lancet window in the east wall of st Thomas's Church to be restored but also donated an elaborate reredos and erected a memorial plaque to him. Details of all these memorials can be found on our sister site at Memorials In Portsmouth.
Angus Gillman is more publicly commemorated on the WW1 memorial outside St. Thomas's Church and on the Cenotaph. His name does not appear in the National Roll.
Tim Backhouse
December 2013

To Cynthia Sherwood for her extensive research