Christopher Bell Sherriff OBE TD (1896-1967)

Donor – Christopher Bell Sherriff OBE TD (1896-1967)

The Painting

Highland Croft by Alexander Fraser (2)
Fig. 1 A Highland Croft by  Alexander Fraser RSA( 1827-1899) Acc 2552 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection

This painting was presented to Glasgow by Christopher Bell Sherriff (CBS) on 18th March 1946.1 There does not appear to be any record of the painting being exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy or in any other exhibition.2

There is reference to an oil painting by Alexander Fraser in the inventory of Carronvale House, the family home of the Sherriff family in Larbert, Stirlingshire, from about 1857.This inventory appears in the trust papers of John Bell Sherriff, grandfather of  CBS who died in 1896. Unfortunately the painting is not named but is hung in the dining room.3 Again, on the death of George Sherriff, father of CBS, who died in 1908, an oil painting by Alexander Fraser appears in the inventory of Carronvale House. This time the painting is given the name, Moorland Scene and again is hung in the dining room. There does not appear to be any record of a painting by that name executed by Alexander Fraser . Looking at the painting one could speculate that whoever compiled the inventory ,a lawyer’s clerk perhaps with little specialist knowledge, might give our painting that name as that is what he saw, rather than the name given by the artist.4

Were the Sherriff family art collectors? The two inventories of the contents of Carronvale House refer to many oil paintings, watercolours and drawings scattered throughout the house. These include works by James Faed, W.C Faed and Horatio McCulloch as well as books on painting in various rooms in the house. George Sherriff, father of CBS, was also a talented amateur photographer, with a “Photography Room” complete with equipment in Carronvale House. CBS’s sister Flora was a talented amateur artist and contributed to a book on the local area.5 Whether or not the many paintings in the house were merely the “wall furniture” normal in the home of a wealthy family at that time one cannot say for certain but it appears that at least some of the family had more than a passing interest in art.6

The Sherriff Family Origins

The Sherriff family originally came from East Lothian. CBS’s great-great grandfather, Thomas Sherriff, a wheel and cartwright, had come to the Carron area in 1760, attracted by the work on offer from the Carron Ironworks which had opened in 1759.7 On 12th December 1861 Thomas married Marion Cowie at Bothkennar. Between 1762 and 1780 they had four sons and three daughters. The eldest son was George (1768-1843), great-grandfather of CBS. George was born in Stenhousemuir on 8th May.8

George Sherriff (1768-1843)

George appears to have been the one who started the Sherriffs on the road to prosperity. He went to work for the Carron Iron Company at an early age. This was a period of rapid technological development in the science of engineering and in particular in new developments and improvements in the steam engine and when Scotland was producing many of its best inventors. George must have done well, as at the age of 18 he went to work for the firm of Boulton and Watt at the Soho works in Birmingham. There he stayed for two years learning the trade of engineering.9

In 1789 the engineer John Rennie was asked to erect a Boulton and Watt engine in Copenhagen and George Sherriff assisted with the installation on site. By this time there were many Scots  working in Russia, employed by the Imperial Government and headed by Charles Gascoigne who had been poached from the Carron Iron Company.10  It had been Admiral Greig, an admiral in the Russian imperial navy, who had first suggested the employment of Scottish engineers to Catherine the Great.11 George saw opportunity here and turned up in the autumn of 1789 at the foundry in Petrozavodsk, where the Scots had the task of improving production. George worked for and with Gascoigne until the end of 1792 when he was released with a testimonial to his satisfactory work. He remained in Russia ” gradually amassing a substantial sum of money”.  While still in the service of Russia on 12th September 1792 he married Sarah Roper of Kirkaldy, the daughter of one of Gascoigne’s original artisans. Sadly Sarah died on 26th September 1793 at Petrozavodsk,shortly after giving birth to a daughter, also Sarah.12

George came to the notice of the Russian Royal family when in 1797 Gascoigne sent him to St Petersburgh to install a steam engine at the Royal Mint. Sherriff is mentioned in a letter from Rennie in September 1799 as a “man skilled in the construction of steam engines which he has completed at the Bank mint.13” Tsar Alexander 1st gave George a tortoise-shell snuff box with his portrait on the lid. Tsar Nicholas gave him a silver medallion. In 1799 George returned to Britain and in 1804 opened the Dalderse Iron Foundry near Falkirk. He acquired two more acres of the lands of Dalderse close to the foundry and built Abbotshaugh House. 14 George took an active part in the local community, a habit which appears to have been passed down the following generations of the Sherriff family. He helped to raise funds for Grahamston Subscription School, completed in 1810, and contributed to the building of a new steeple in Falkirk. In 1806, already a mason, he became a member of Falkirk Masonic Lodge.15

On 5th February 1808 George married for the second time. His bride was Margaret Bell of Camelon, daughter of a prosperous merchant John Bell. Six children were born at Abbotshaugh, three girls and three boys, one of whom ,John Bell Sherriff grandfather of our donor CBS, was born in 1821.The Dalderse Foundry was not a success and  had to close in 1810,many of the workers moving to the new Falkirk Iron Works.

Around 1823 George returned to Russia, presumably to work for the Russian Government again. From that time Abbotshaugh seems to have been occupied by members of his wife’s family, the Bells.16 Margaret Bell died in St Petersburg on April 1826, giving birth to the youngest son Alexander. She was thirty- nine. George died on 10th December 1843 aged 75. He is buried in Russia at Tautilo Deravino.17

John Bell Sherriff (1821-1896) (JBS)

The UK Census for 1851 tells us that our donor’s  grandfather was living with his mother’s family the Bells at Abbotshaugh House, was 20 years old and a medical student. He abandoned medicine to join his uncle Christopher Bell in business in Glasgow. He later started up in business on his own account. According to the 1849-50 Glasgow Post Office Directory JBS was a merchant and agent for A&J Dawson, St Magdalene Distillery Linlithgow and in the 1851 UK Census he was a wine and spirit merchant, living in Westercommon Craighall Road, Glasgow. The 1854-5 Glasgow Post Office Directory lists JBS as merchant and agent for St Magdalene Distillery Linlithgow and Lochindaal Distillery  Islay with offices at 9 Virginia Street and bonded stores in St Andrews Lane.

In 1854 in Stepney, London, JBS married Flora Taylor who was born in Islay. She was the daughter of Colin Taylor who had been a general retail merchant in Killarow, Bowmore,Islay. 18 In 1859 he bought Lochindaal Distillery at Port Charlotte, Islay.19

Whether the connection with the Taylors on Islay influenced the purchase of Lochindaal one can only speculate. The Taylor family were also owners of the Lochhead distillery in Campbeltown (William Taylor & Company) and JBS went into partnership with John Taylor.20 When John Taylor died in 1857 JBS became the   surviving partner.21

Carronvale House-Falkirk Local history society
Fig. 2 Carronvale House  Larbert. © Falkirk Local History Society

JBS bought the Carronvale Estate and the residence Carronvale House, Larbert Stirlingshire in 1857. He also purchased the neighbouring estates of Stenhouse and Kerse(on which Grangemouth stands today). By the late 19th century many of these estates were being feud for housing and other urban development. He also bought the country estate of Kingairloch in Loch Linnhe.22

The couple had two children, George (b.1856) and Margaret (b.1857).23They were very involved in the local community. JBS was honorary president Local Liberal Association.24 He supported The Larbert Asylum-Scottish Institution for Imbecile Children25 and was a member of the Glasgow and Stirling Sons of the Rock Society.26 This was a philanthropic organisation founded by a group of Glasgow businessmen who lived in Stirlingshire and aimed to help those in the county of Stirling who were in dire need. The society still exists today.27

By the time of his death in 1896 JBS had also begun to invest in sugar plantations and rum distilling in Jamaica.One such plantation was Long Pond in the parish of Trelawney .He set up a company JB Sherriff &Company (Jamaica) Ltd) to manage the Jamaica end of the business.28 This was managed in Jamaica by a George Taylor but whether  this was a member of his wife’s family it has not been possible to establish as Taylor was a well-established name among Jamaican planters. 29

JBS set up a trust to manage his affairs. The trust papers reveal the extent to which JBS had built up the family wealth and business. There is page after page of investments in railways in the USA, South America, mines and shipping companies such as the Glen Line. The list of properties owned in Glasgow is similarly impressive. One example is the land in George Street Glasgow on which the first building of what is now Strathclyde University stands. This was first the West of Scotland Technical College later Royal College.30

George Sherriff  (1856-1908)

George, our donor’s father, was born in Pollokshields, Glasgow, where his parents appear to have been living before they moved to Carronvale House. 31 He was educated at Blairlodge School in Polmont now the site of Polmont Young Offenders Institution32 and then, according to the 1871  UK Census, at Rugby School. He entered his father’s firm J.B.Sherriff and Company Distillers Glasgow and eventually became a partner.33

In 1883 George married Catherine Jane Nimmo, daughter of Alexander Nimmo of Howkerse Bothkennar, who was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the  Stirlingshire Volunteers-perhaps the source of future interest in things military among the boys in the Sherriff family. Catherine and George went on to have six living children. Flora  was born in 1887, John George in 1891, Edith Mary in 1892, Alexander Nimmo in 1885  our donor Christopher Bell in 1896 and George in 1898.34

British Architect 20th July 188 (002)
Fig. 3 Architect’s Plan of Woodcroft . British Architect  20/07/1888. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection:The Mitchell Library Special Collections.

Home was Woodcroft,  Carronvale Road Larbert. By this time part of the Carronvale Estate was being feud for housing by John Bell Sherriff and George appears to have taken a plot for a family home. The house was built in 1888.  George commissioned architect Thomas Lennox Watson to design the house in the English Arts and Craft style.35

As his father before him George played a leading part in the local community. He represented Larbert Division for some years on Stirling County Council and he was a Justice of the Peace for the County. He was also a philanthropist. For example he was a director of the Scottish National Imbecile Institution( in more enlightened times known as Larbert Hospital).36

george sherriff 1856-1908
Fig 4 George Sherriff  © Falkirk Community Trust Callendar House.P24738 . Photographer unknown

George was also one of the local wealthy men who were instrumental in setting up in 1894 The Larbert and Stenhouse Nursing Association with the aim of appointing a Jubilee Nurse and providing funds for a   nurse to care for the poor in their own homes.37 The scheme came about as a result of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 when to commemorate this event the women of Britain collected £70,000 which they presented to the Queen. Victoria used the money to set up a training school for nurses to look after the poor in their own homes. Larbert was one of many districts in Britain which established a Nursing Association.  The Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses was set up, “for the education of nurses to attend the sick poor in their own house”. The Institute was also used to promote the establishment of branches throughout the UK. Within Scotland training facilities were soon developed in Glasgow and a Central Training Home was established in Edinburgh. At first this was a small flat in North Charlotte Street but such was the demand that the organisation moved to much larger premises in Castle Terrace. The training of Queens Nurses continued at Castle Terrace until 1970 when it moved to what is now Queen Margaret University. Although there had been earlier pioneers of what we now know as district nurses, in Liverpool and Glasgow for example through the work of William Rathbone, it was the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute which was the major turning point in the provision of this service. Among the prominent families who supported the “Jubilee Nurse” was that of George Sherriff of Woodcroft. These families supported the Association financially and raised funds. In practice it was the wives and daughters of the prominent men who did all the work. They appointed the nurse, went over all the activities of the Association which were carefully minuted each month and even inspected the accommodation provided for the nurse to make sure it was kept up to standard. In his will John Bell Sheriff left £1000 to the Jubilee Nurse Association in memory of his daughter Margaret Eugenie Flora who had been an active supporter. Catherine Nimmo Sherriff, George’s wife and the mother of our donor, was also very active in the Association.38 Politically George was an ardent Conservative (known as Unionist at that time).39

As we have seen he appears to have had an interest in photography. According to the inventory of Carronvale House after his death there was a Photography Room. In here were racks of photographic materials and equipment including “an adjustable camera stand”.  George also had shares in Eastman Kodak, again demonstrating his interest in photography. 40

Unfortunately George had “indifferent health” and died at the relatively young age of 52 on 10th November 1908. 42 His estate was left in trust to his eldest son John George who was   just twenty-one.

Christopher Bell Sherriff (CBS) (1896-1967)

CBS was born on 28th February 1896 at Woodcroft.  Shortly after his birth his grandfather John Bell Sherriff  died, leaving his large  estate in trust to his son George.43 The family moved to Carronvale House after it had been modernised. George Sherriff had engaged the architect John James Burnet to redesign and modernise the house in the Arts and Craft Style.44 George Sherriff and Burnet had  both attended Blairlodge Academy in Polmont 45  which was a prestigious boarding school  in the last half of the nineteenth century and is  now Polmont Young Offenders Institution.46

School Days

Although his eldest brother John George had attended the Merchiston School Edinburgh47 in 1910 CBS followed his elder brother Alexander to Sedbergh School in what is now Cumbria.48 Alexander joined the Officers Training Corps (OTC) at Sedbergh and went on to Sandhurst in 1912, from where he passed out in December 1914 and was gazetted into the Northamptonshire Regiment. Like his brother CBS was pupil in Evans House. His school career is documented in the school magazine The Sedbergian. He played rugby and cricket for the school and in 1912 won several prizes for his proficiency in the hurdles and high jump. In July 1912 he was awarded the “Mathematical Prize”  on Speech Day. He was also a member of the OTC and was promoted to Sergeant in February 1914. Also in February 1914 CBS was made a prefect as well as gaining a try in the 1st Team rugby match against Windermere School.

In July 1914 he was a warded the “Prefect’s leaving prize”.49 On 14th June 1914 CBS went up to Trinity College Cambridge where he began to study Engineering Science. The outbreak of war in August 1914 was to interrupt his studies.50

Sedberg School Main School
Fig. 5 Sedburgh School © Sedburgh School

  War Service 1914-1918 

CBS joined the army from Cambridge on December 7th1914. This must have been very hard for his parents as his brother Alexander had been killed in action at the end of October.51 Or perhaps that is why our donor “joined up”. At first CBS was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th Service Battalion of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders known as Princess Louise’s Regiment. However on 11th October 1915 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps.52 By this time his eldest brother John George (7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders) had also been killed in action on 24th April 1915.53 Whether this transfer to more of a support position was because of the death of two brothers is only speculation. In any event the death of his two eldest brothers left CBS the largest landowner in Stirlingshire and heir to a vast commercial portfolio as well as owner of distilleries in Campbeltown  and Islay and of sugar plantations and rum distilleries in Jamaica.54 On his death at the age of twenty-four John George Sherriff ‘s personal estate had been worth £80,000.55 All these assets were managed by a trust set up by his father.

CBS had also inherited a vast amount of land. Apart from the Carronvale estate the Sheriffs were proprietors of The Stenhouse and Kersie Estates in Stirlingshire and the Kingairloch Estate in Argyle.56 However in 1915 his responsibilities at home were probably far from his thoughts.

CBS 1914-18 2
Fig. 6 Lieutenant Christopher Bell Sherriff  c1914. © IWM (HU126440)

Unfortunately our donor’s WW One war records are among the many destroyed during World War Two.  We do know that CBS served in Malta and in Salonika from April 1917. 57 According to the London Gazette he was one of the many former cadets of the Officers Training Corps to be made acting 2nd Lieutenant in on 7th December 1914. 58  He was promoted to Lieutenant (temporary) in July 1917 and Acting Captain (temporary) in the renamed Royal Army Service Corps in May 1918. 59 At the end of the war he was awarded the Victory Medal ,1914-15 Star and the British War Medal three medals irreverently known by the troops as “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.60

Inter War Years 1919-1939

After the war CBS returned to Trinity College Cambridge to complete his degree. He graduated BA in 1920 with an Ordinary Degree in Engineering Science. For students whose degree course had been interrupted by the war  degree requirements to reside for nine terms were waived so a degree could be awarded in two years.61

CBS and his mother were Trustees for his father’s estate. He attended his first meeting  on 5th May 1920. Around 1919/20 J.B.Sherriff & Company Ltd went into voluntary liquidation for reasons which are unclear. The whisky business was sold to J.P.OBrien Ltd. A  new company  J.B.Sherriff &Company (Jamaica ) Ltd, was formed to manage the Jamaican interests. The meetings of the Trustees appear to have been annual.62

By 1921 the new company owned at least five sugar plantations in Trelawney Parish ,Jamaica. These were Long Pond, Parnassus, Hyde Hall, Steelfield and Etingen. There was a central factory at Long Pond for the distilling etc of rum.63 CBS made several trips to Jamaica for example inMarch 1923 on the “Patuca”   and on the “SS Bayano” in 1931 where CBS is described as a company director.64 The day-to-day running of the Jamaican business was in the hands of agents .The sugar and rum business was eventually taken over  in 1953 by the Canadian company Seagrams, a wholly owned subsidiary of Distillers Corporation. 65

In 1925 the company bought Bowmore Distillery in Islay and ran it until 1950. During World War Two production ceased and the distillery hosted RAF Coastal Command. So as we can see CBS, as a director of J.B.Sherriff(Jamaica)Ltd was very involved in the running of the business which his grandfather John Bell Sherriff had developed.66

On Thursday 15th November 1928 in Paisley Abbey Christopher married Elizabeth Mary Greig  who was the eldest daughter of Robert Greig of Hall of Caldwell Uplawmoor Renfrewshire.67 Robert Greig was a prominent Glasgow businessman. In the strange way of the coincidences of life Elizabeth was a direct descendant of Admiral Greig of Catherine the Great’s Imperial Russian Navy. It was Admiral Greig who had recommended that the ruler of Russia employ Scottish engineers, especially Galbraith, formerly of the Carron Iron Works. Galbraith in turn employed George Sherriff great grandfather of our donor.68

 The report of the wedding in the Falkirk Herald  of 24/11/1928 noted the presence at the wedding of the bride’s uncle Wing Commander Louis Greig,” former comptroller to the  Duke of York” later King George VI. Louis Greig had studied medicine at Glasgow University and in 1906 he joined the navy. In 1909 he joined the Royal Naval College at Osborne, where he met Prince Albert, later Duke of York. The prince was ill-equipped for this hearty all male society and Louis took him under his wing. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography rather unkindly suggests that Louis was “ambitious enough to realise how the royal cadet could further his career” though went on to say that he genuinely liked the prince and saw his potential. For his part the prince hero-worshipped his self-confident mentor. Having met Louis Albert’s father King George V encouraged the friendship and pulled strings to ensure they served together on HMS Cumberland where Greig was ship’s surgeon. In 1918 Louis was appointed equerry. During the early 1920s the two were inseparable. It was Louis who partnered the prince at his famous appearance at Wimbledon.

He encouraged the prince’s wooing of Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, which in turn put an end to his position in the royal household. Louis was gradually frozen out. Louis was also close to Ramsay MacDonald and played a small but useful part in the formation of the National Government. It was Macdonald who persuaded Louis to accept a knighthood in 1932.69

Having spent their honeymoon in Sicily70  the newly-weds set up home at a house called Craigmarloch in  Kilmacolm. The house had a substantial four acre garden and a further six acres of grazing and stabling for two horses. Elizabeth Sherriff seems to have been an keen member of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt. Many meetings were hosted at Craigmarloch.71

Carronvale House was still occupied by CBS’s mother Catherine. Catherine was the last of the Sherriffs to live at Carronvale House. She died in 1936. During World War 2 it housed the entire claims department of the Prudential insurance Company which had been removed from London. In 1946  Carronvale House was sold and became the Headquarters of The Boys Brigade in Scotland.72

Elizabeth and Christopher had three sons. Christopher George was born in 1930,John Alexander in 1931 and Robert Mark in 1936. 73

Around 1921 after his return from Cambridge CBS joined the reformed 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (T A). He was a member of Company B based at Larbert. He took an active role in the activities of the battalion throughout the interwar period.74 He was regularly promoted until in 1934 he was made Commanding Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. According to the Stirling Journal and Advertiser “he is popular with all ranks and should make an ideal commanding officer for the Seventh”.75

As his father, grandfather and great -grandfather before him, CBS played an active part in the local community. He was Honorary President of the 35th Larbert East  United Free Church Scout Troup, and an honorary member of the Stenhousemuir Bowling Club. The Sherriffs had provided the land for the club and eventually sold it to the members for a very reasonable price, similarly the land for Falkirk Tryst Golf Club.76 CBS was also a member of the Larbert and Stenhouse Masonic Lodge 77 and became the President of the Larbert and Stenhouse Unionist Associaltion.78

CBS carried on the long family involvement with The Larbert and District Nursing Association79 as a Board Member and was appointed Honorary President in 1946.80  The name of the Association had been changed in 1919 to Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association when Carron District was set up and a second nurse was employed following a bequest from the trust of one Miss Dawson. The Association lasted until the National Health Service took over the provision of District Nursing Services in 1950.81

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather CBS was  a member of The Glasgow, Stirlingshire  Sons of the Rock Society, the philanthropic organisation founded in 1809 by a group of Glasgow merchants and tradesmen living in Stirlingshire to give practical and financial assistance to people within the county boundary who would otherwise be destitute. It is one of Scotland’s oldest charitable bodies and still exists today.82 CBS attended a meeting at the Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling in January 1938.83

Life for our donor was not all duty. There are several references in the local press to his attendance at annual balls of the Seventh Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Stirling County Ball, again at the Golden Lion in Stirling.84  CBS was also a keen tennis player in his youth. For example in 1920 he and his brother George won the Men’s Doubles at the Scottish Central Lord Tennis Championships  and he is mentioned each summer in the Falkirk Herald  until his marriage in 1928 as entering various tennis championships.85

 War Service 1939-45

According to the Army Lists, CBS enlisted for war service on 28th August 1939. At the age of 43 he was commissioned as a Class I Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Pioneer Corps.86 By June 1940 he was Commanding Officer of 16 Group Royal Pioneer Corps.  16 Group had been formed at Westcliffe-on Sea and was then moved to Tonbridge. The unit remained in Britain until 29th October 1942 when the men moved to Glasgow and boarded the ‘Arundel Castle’ landing in Algiers on 1st December.87 According to Major E.H.Rhodes-Wood in his war history of The Royal Pioneer Corps CBS and Group 16 were one of the units which served in North Africa, “to provide the First Army with its military labour force.” The unit saw action in North Africa throughout 1943, returning to Gourock on 26th November 1943.88 While in North Africa CBS was Mentioned in Dispatches in September, but there is no information as to the event.89

On returning to the UK CBS’s unit proceeded to St Albans  and in January 1944 moved  to Bury St Edmunds then to Ipswich, Putney and by 4th June 1944 the unit was in the marshalling area in West Ham  in preparation for D-Day. The unit embarked for Normandy on 8th June two days after the Normandy Landings. The unit moved to Arromanches on 12th June and for the rest of June and July were working on or near the beaches.90

.According to  Rhodes-Wood, on  September 4th 16 Group, commanded by Lt-Colonel C.B.Sherriff, with four companies and a Civil Labour Unit entered Dieppe which had been captured the previous day  and immediately started  on repairs to docks, constructing a train ferry ramp and lifting unexploded bombs. These activities provide an excellent example of how the work of the Pioneers and civilians was coordinated to get a port in running order. The unit remained in Northern France until April 1945 when the men moved to Eindhoven in Germany and there celebrated VE Day on 6th May.91 According to the Army Lists CBS had been demobilised by October 1945.92 

Post War Years.

When the war ended CBS and his family were still living at Craigmarloch near Kilmacolm where they remained until 1958. As well as carrying on his ‘day job’ as a director of JB Sherriff and Co(Jamaica)Ltd, he played an active part in the local community.  He was on the Board of Management of The Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Soldiers and Sailors at Erskine, Renfrewshire-known to us as Erskine Hospital. In 1950 he was appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire and was also a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland-The Royal Company of Archers.93

Around 1958 CBS bought the Pitnacree Estate near Ballinluig, Perthshire to where he and his wife moved in 1958. They lived at Pitnacree House. CBS took a great interest in farming and improving   the estate and always took part very successfully  in the local cattle shows. It was during his’ watch’ that the gardens at Pitnacree House became the wonderful sight they are today. Mrs Sherriff appears to have been the gardener in the family. The gardens of Pitnacree are still open each year as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme in which Mrs Sherriff took a great interest. Both CBS and Elizabeth were members of Strathtay Kirk where CBS was an Elder.94

The Seventh Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders continued to play an important part in our donor’s life. He was Honorary Colonel from 1957 to 1963.95

Lt Col C B Sherrif 1954 -58 7th Bn 001 (002)
Fig. 7 Lt Col C B Sherriff OBE TD Hon Col 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders  1957-63.© The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders Museum

Political loyalties were also maintained after the move to Perthshire where CBS was a member of the Strathtay Grandtully and Mid-Atholl Unionist Association.96

Christopher Bell Sherriff died at Pitnacree House on 29th October 1967 at the age of 72 of a heart attack97. Elizabeth died on July 26th 1990.98 According to a friend who wrote an appreciation of him in the Glasgow Herald shortly after his death,

”Chris Sherriff…will be greatly missed by a wide range of friends in all walks of life…..The countryside was his great love and he was happiest on the moor or making and growing things at Pitnacree surrounded by his wife and family.

In a world of bewildering changes of outlook and standards, his own views of what was right and wrong never varied. He was a modest man and probably never realised what a source of strength he was to all who came in touch with him….”.99 



F H -Falkirk Herald

GCA -Glasgow City Archives Mitchell Library

GMRC-Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

P A -Perth Advertiser

S J A-Stirling Journal and Advertiser

S O-Stirling Observer


1. GMRC. Object File. Accession No 2552

2.Charles Baile de Laperriere.The Royal Scottish Academy.1826-1900.Hilmartin Manor Press 1991

3.John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers. GCA.T-BK 165/7

4.George Sherriff Trust Papers. GCA.T-AF-254 p.40

5.John C. Gibson. Lands and Lairds of Larbert and Dunipace Parishes.Hugh Hopkins Glasgow 1908

6.George Sherriff Trust Papers .GCA T-AF 254 p.153

7.John C Gibson. Lands and Lairds of Larbert and Dunipace Parishes


9.Geoff B. Bailey.’Carron Company and the Export of Technology to Eastern Europe.’ In Calatria  Vol 17 Autumn 2003. Journal of the Falkirk Local History Society.

10. ibid pp. 14-17

11. ibid pp. 3-5

12. ibid p 14

13. Boulton and Watt Collection.

14. op cit  Bailey pp 14-17

15. ibid p 17

16.UK Census

17.  op cit Bailey p 17

18. Statutory Marriages


20. Ulf Buxrud ‘Lost Scotch Whisky Distilleries1885-1945’ Ulf Buxrod 2000

21. John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers.GCA .T-BK165/7

22. Papers of the Sherriff Family 1715-1937. Russell and Aitkin Papers. Falkirk Archives Ref A1847;

23. http:/

24. FH 19/9/1896

25. FH11/1/1877 ;FH1/1/1887

26. FH 19/1/1878


28.1900 Handbookof Jamaica ; Pond

30.John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers.GCA.T-BK165/7

31. UK Census 1841


33. SJA 13/11/1908


35. British Architect 20/07/1888 ;Building News 17/07/1891

36. SJA 13/11/1908

37.FH 23/06/1894 ;

38. Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association. Minute Books 1894-1944. Falkirk Archives. Ref A1800-020/1-4

39. SJA 13/11/1908

41. George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256 p.153

42. SJA 13/11/1908


43. John Bell Trust Papers .GCA.T-BK 165/7

44. Brian Watters 2006. “Carronvale House”

45. SJA 19/11/1908

46. Ian Scott 2005 “Polmont and Brightons.”

47. FH 08/05/1915

48. UK Census

49. The Sedberghian 1907-1914 ;


51. FH 08/05/1915

52. London Gazette23/10/1915 Supplement 10477

53. FH 08/05/1915

54. SJA 13/11/1908; George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256


56.George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256

57. FH10/06/1939

58.London Gazette 18/12/1914 Supplement 10452

59.London Gazette  30/05/1918 Supplement 6313


62. George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256 p.260

63. Pond

64. UK Passenger Lists Pond

66. Neil Wilson The Island Whisky Trail.  Angels Share 2003 p.71

67. FH 24/11/1928

68. op cit Bailey.  p3

69. Geordie Greig  Louis and the Prince Hodder & Stoughton 1999

70. FH 24/11/1928

71. Scotsman  21/10/1937

72. op cit  Watters. Statutory Births

74. “Peacetime” 1908-1958. 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders:their peacetime life.1908-1958.Paramount Press ND.Mitchell Library SRH 355.31ARG/PEA pp52,64,66

75. SJA 22/11/1934

76. FH 29/04/1933

77. FH 19/03/1927

78. FH 18/10/1924

79. FH 23/06/1894

80. FH.09/11/1946.

81. Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association : Minutes and Annual reports 1912-1950. Falkirk Archives. Ref A1800.020/05/06


83. FH 09/10/1926 ;FH 19/01/1938

84. Scotsman 04/10/1938

85. Dundee Courier 19/07/1920

86 .FH 19/01/1934


88. Major E.H. Rhodes-Wood. A War History of the Royal Pioneer Corps 1939-1946.Aldershot,Galen& Poden 1960. p181


91. op cit Rhodes-Wood p181

92. Army Lists October 1945 p 2075

93.SJA  02/11/1967

94. ibid

95.op cit “ Peacetime”1908-1958. p.43

96. SJA 02/11/1967

97. Death Notice Times 31/10/1967

98. PA 26/07/1990 ;

99. GH 06/11/1967 4b