Biography of Captain James Elliot Black
James Elliot Black, MB ChB 1911
Captain James Elliott Black graduated MB ChB from the University in 1911. He was born on 10 March 1887, son of Major Adam Elliot, a chartered accountant and Officer Commanding Clyde Brigade of Royal Engineer Submarine Miles.
Black was educated at Cargilfield School and then entered Fettes College in 1900. He began studying at the University of Glasgow in 1905. In session 1909-10 he was awarded a Second Class Certificate in Practical Pathology by Professor Robert Muir. Black graduated MB ChB on 12 October 1911. After this he went on to practise law at Westbourne Terrace in Glasgow. Black also studied at the University College London and was studying for his PhD at the University of Cambridge when war broke out.
Black volunteered for service, and was gazetted Lieutenant (on probation) in the RAMC (Special Reserve) on 22 September 1914. He then proceeded to France on the 7 November 1914, where he became attached to the No. 8 Casualty Clearing Service Station and remained with them until 16 February 1916. He was confirmed as permanent Lieutenant on 22 December 1914 and in April 1915 he was promoted to Captain, after which point he joined the 8th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment as a medical officer. On 23 March 1917 he was admitted to a convalescent hospital due to illness but he was back with the battalion in time for their assault around Loos in April 1917, where he was killed. Black was buried in France at the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe.
Black was mentioned in dispatches by F.M. Sir John French, for gallantry and distinguished service in the field. He also won the Military Cross for his actions in September 1916, during the assault against the Quadrilateral Redoubt during the Somme Offensive. The London Gazette states that he was awarded the Military Cross: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in action. He rendered valuable services when attending the wounded under heavy machine gun and shell fire. Later, he went out into 'No Man's Land' to succour the wounded".
After his death, Col. Lord Ampthill (Officer Comanding the 8th Bedfordshire Regiment) wrote that Black had “established his Aid Post as near the fighting line as possible, and there he worked with unremitting zeal and devotion and without a thought of danger till the end. I can honestly tell you that no medical officer could have been more beloved in that battalion than he was."
Captain James Elliot Black
Born 10 March 1887.
Died 19 April 1917.
University Link: Alumnus, Graduate
GU Degree: MB ChB, 1911; Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences,
Occupation categories: military; physicians; surgeons
Record last updated: 1st May 2014