Lance Corporal William Maxted Coltart




William Maxted Coltart was born on 23 April 1884 at Perth, Scotland, one of at least ten children of coachman James Coltart and his wife Sarah (nee Maxted). By the time of the 1901 Census he was living at North Port, Perth, with his parents and three brothers and working as an engine cleaner. At the age of 19 he won golf's Assistant Professionals' Championship of England and repeated the feat the following year.

In June 1912 Coltart took up an appointment as the first professional at the Portstewart Golf Club. Later that year he married Edith Emily Button in London.

Coltart enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 1 June 1917 (No.2467 – later Corps of Hussars No.71651). A month later he was promoted to lance corporal. On 31 March 1918 he embarked for France, where, it appears, he was posted to the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment, which was then serving as corps cyclists to V Corps (although one document suggests that he was attached to the 6th Dragoon Guards). It is likely that he saw action with the regiment during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.

On 6 November 1918 while on patrol duty near Cantaing Coltart fell ill with influenza. He was treated at the No.22 General Hospital at Camiers, before being evacuated to England on 21 November. There he was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital at Hollywood Park, Manchester, and later the Auxiliary Military Hospital at Northenden. He remained there until released on 15 January 1919.

On 14 February 1919 Coltart was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, his military character recorded as 'good'.

In June 1919 he took up an appointment as greenkeeper and professional at the Cliftonville Golf Club. Soon after, he emigrated to the United States, where he assumed the professional's job at the Brookline Square Club. He was then at the Delaware Club for five years before becoming the professional at the Spring Mill Course of the Philadelphia Country Club. He was later named the first professional at the Valley Forge Golf Club, before moving to the Ocean City Maryland Golf Club and later the Green Hill Country Club and then the Plymouth Country Club.

Coltart died on 19 November 1946 in Philadelphia. He was buried in the Gulph United Church of Christ Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.


Irish Independent, 1 August 1913



A number of Coltart's brothers also served in the military. Trooper Charles Coltart of the 1st Imperial Light Horse died at Johannesburg on 9 July 1902. Private Robert Coltart of the Seaforth Highlanders, a golf club maker before the war, was killed in action in France on 23 October 1914. Sergeant John Coltart of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) was awarded a Military Medal in 1916.

Both of William Coltart's sons, Sydney and Dennis, became golf professionals. His brother Frank, a golf club maker, played in eight Open Championships between 1903 and 1920, before emigrating to the United States.


I am grateful to Dennis Coltart, William's grandson, for agreeing that I reproduce the first image. Third image and some of the information above sourced from the Find-a-Grave website.