World War 2 (1939 - 1945)


Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Hubert Hamish Gilchrist

Service: Royal Canadian Air Force
Unit: Ferry Command Dorval Province of Quebec
Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Service number: RCAF C 1619

Hubert Gilchrist was born in Glasgow on 7 July 1913, son of John M. Gilchrist and Hilda Gilchrist, c/o Fairweather, Newton Mearns. Aged six years old, he travelled to Canada with his mother and sisters for a three month visit to his grandmother Mrs Reid. He attended Loretto School from January 1927 until April 1932 and was Head of School in the VI Form, Rugby XV (Captain), cricket XI, Hockey Team and Fives Couples, and Cadet Under Officer of the Officer Training Corps.

On leaving school he joined the Shell Oil Company and was sent to London where he played in the London Scottish XV. He went to Canada in 1938, and on the outbreak of war joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

After being trained and serving as an instructor, in June 1942 he was attached to Ferry Command at Montreal. On 15 July of that year, two days before he was due to take his first trans-Atlantic flight, his Hudson aircraft FH386 plane crashed about two miles north of Dorval and he was killed.
A tribute from his commanding officer included these words: "He was one of the best pilots the Royal Canadian Air Force ever had - steady, cool and keen, and a great flier. His men adored him because of his leadership, understanding, fairness and sense of humour. For these qualities and his exceptional skill, he had been chosen out of thousands to undertake a particular job requiring above the average ability and reliability."

Hubert was 29 years of age when he was killed. He is buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal - Grave reference Sec. G.943. Grave 347 and is commemorated on the Loretto School Roll of Honour.

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