St Andrews Links With Sefton
Written and researched by David
with the kind help and documents supplied by historians
Born around 1887 in the beautiful
surroundings of St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland George
Armit became an avid sportsman at the local Madras College.
The College took its name from the system of education devised by the
school's founder, the Rev Dr Andrew Bell who used to be chaplain to the
regiments of the East India Company in Madras. There was a shortage of
teachers so he used the older boys, who had been taught the lesson by
the master, to
instruct groups of younger pupils.
College Rugby 1908-09
Back Row: H Law, C Donaldson, C Mason, A Ritch, H McKenzie, C Morrow, D
Fisher, E Cullen
Middle Row:C Watt, G G Armit (Captain)
J McKenzie (Rector), G Rutherford, D Shaw
Front Row:J Auchterlonie, T
[Photo courtesy of Madras
After a University education at St Andrews and Dundee, George became a
ships engineer and landed a plum job on the Cunard passenger ship RMS
When the Laconia was on the Liverpool to New York/Boston run in 1913/14
he must have been itching for a game of rugby whilst on shore leave and
played for Sefton.
He joined the club early in 1913 after being proposed by F.J.Haney
With the outbreak of WW1 the Laconia was requisitioned by the Royal
Navy as a patrol and protection vessel, George being granted a
HMS Laconia was immediately sent
out to the Indian Ocean
to stop enemy activity in German East
Africa (now Tanzania). He was aboard this ship until June 1916 when it
was returned to Cunard, a fortuitous move for him as she was
torpedoed by a U-Boat
returning from America in February 1917. He
was discharged and transferred to the armed merchant cruiser HMS
and continued patrol and troop carrying to South Africa
until December 1917 when he returned to England.
The later stages of the Great War were spent on HMS
, an Armoured Cruiser operating around Gibraltar.
[Entitlement to Pip, Squeak and
During the inter-war years George continued his engineering duties with
the Cunard ship RMS Aurania
on the Liverpool to New York, Quebec, Montreal route.
Once again his ship was requisitioned at the outbreak of WW2 and
converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS
[HMS Artiflex www.naval-history.net]
Being based in New York in 1941 he
transferred to the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve with the rank of
Engineer Lt Commander.
For his distinguished service he was promoted to Engineer Commander in
January 1945 and later on in the year appointed to the Most Excellent
After the war he served on HMCS
, HMCS Niobe(the secret Canadian Naval Shore Base in
Scotland) and was finally demobbed in 1947 at HMCS Scotian in Halifax,
Commander Armit retired back to his St Andrews home but did
not rest on his laurels, he became a Councillor and Captain of
the New St Andrews Golf Club.
The George passed away in St Andrews in 1966
George Gilmour Armit OBE
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memorabilia Copyright © 2012 Sefton RUFC