2nd Lieutenant George Still
George Still of the 3/4 Cameron Highlanders, wearing number 15, can be seen in the film winning the officers’ 120 yards dash. He was born in Aberdeen in 1889, son of Robert and Isabella, and had at least five older siblings. At some point between 1901 and 1911, the family moved to Edinburgh where George had a job as a barman for a wine merchant.
He joined a mounted infantry force, Lovat’s Scouts, but was transferred in November 1915 to the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.
George transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to the Balkan front in 1916. He died when flying a two-seater reconnaissance plane with Lt St John Salmon Backhouse in the Struma valley, Bulgaria, on 3rd April 1918. They were shot down by Bulgarian flying ace, Captain Ivan Milanov. A month after his death his appointment as temporary Lieutenant in the RFC was announced in the British newspapers.
Sergeant Robert "Bobby" Cruickshank
Bobby Cruickshank was 21 years old in this film. He can be seen winning the 100 yards sprint wearing number 6. Bobby had been an accomplished athlete as a schoolboy, running the 100 yards in 10.4 seconds: a Scottish school record not beaten until 1965. He joined the Seaforth Highlanders and fought at Ypres, was wounded on the Somme and in 1918 was captured at Arras and taken to a POW camp, but subsequently escaped and returned to his regiment.
After the war he became a famous professional golfer, runner-up twice in the US Open. He emigrated to America, married Helen and had a daughter, Elsie. His granddaughter, Diana Hoke, is also an accomplished golfer.
Driver Smith of the WR Division RFA was the winner of the 6 mile cross country race. We know no more about him; if you can help with further information, please do get in touch.
Lieutenant R Girvan
Lieutenant Girvan was a member of the 1st Battalion King Edward’s Horse and was marshal for the mounted events; he can be seen encouraging the horses and riders in the film. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and later joined the Royal Field Artillery.
At the end of the war, he was in charge of the animal collection camp at Douai that sold the army horses to the French. He then emigrated to Canada and had a mixed farm on the Red Deer River in Alberta, but subsequently returned to Selkirk on 22nd February 1922 to lecture in the cinema with his film about rural life in Canada.
Sergeant Harry Duffus
Sergeant Harry Duffus can be seen in the film standing alongside the victorious Highland Light Infantry cross country team, which he had helped to train. He was born in Arbroath, son of John Duffus of 40 Sidney Street. Harry’s brothers, James and Stewart, were both champion cross country runners for Scotland.
Harry served his apprenticeship as a tailor in Arbroath, moving to Barrow in Furness and then to Glasgow. He joined up in 1915, trained at Ripon, and was killed in action on 16th April 1918 in Flanders.
Gunner Bradley of the North Midland Division Royal Field artillery can be seen wearing number 110 and preparing for the 6 mile cross country race. As with Driver Smith, we know no more about him, so please do contact us if you can help.