Lieutenant Gilbert Hutton Grigg



Gilbert Hutton Grigg and his twin brother John Hutton Grigg were born at Longbeach, Ashburton, Canterbury, New Zealand, on 6 May 1895, sons of grazier John Charles Nattle Grigg and his wife Alice Montgomery Grigg (nee Hutton).

He and his brother were educated at Christ's College, New Zealand, before travelling to England to study at Jesus College, Cambridge.

On 5 October 1914 Gilbert and his brother, together with their cousins Harold Plumer Kellock and Richard Berry Kellock, enlisted at Barnstaple in the 2/1 Royal North Devon Hussars (Nos 1170 and 1171).

Gilbert was made acting lance corporal on 9 January 1915, corporal on 19 February and sergeant on 23 April. On 12 July 1915 he and his brother transferred to the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps. In August both applied for commissions, and on 26 August they were appointed as 2nd lieutenants and posted to the North Irish Horse.

The brothers were attached to E Squadron and embarked for France on 11 January 1916. Both were promoted to the rank of lieutenant five days later.

They remained with the squadron through 1916, 1917 and into 1918, as it moved from being a divisional cavalry squadron to part of the 1st North Irish Horse corps cavalry regiment, to a corps cyclist regiment. The war diary includes a number of references to the brothers in 1916, including Gilbert being sent to sniping school and then into the trenches for sniping work.

In June 1916 the Kellock brothers joined the Griggs as officers in the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In 1918 the Griggs and Kellocks all sought transfers to the Royal Field Artillery. On 11 May Gilbert Grigg was posted to the 12th Division's Royal Field Artillery on six weeks probation. In July he was posted to B Battery, 62nd Brigade, and the transfer to the RFA was confirmed.

For many years Gilbert had been easily distinguishable from his twin brother due to a badly flattened nose, a result of a fall in 1910 that broke and depressed the bridge. After the war he took advantage of the new plastic surgery being conducted for soldiers at the Queen's Hospital, Sidcup, having it successfully repaired.

Lieutenant Grigg was demobilised on 12 July 1919 and with his brother returned home to New Zealand. He relinquished his commission on 1 April 1920.

He returned to farming and was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to agriculture in the King's Birthday Honours of 1950.

Gilbert Grigg died on 16 May 1974 at Christchurch, New Zealand. His twin brother John died just 27 days later.


Above from left, Gilbert Hutton Grigg, Richard Berry Kellock, Harold Plumer Kellock, John Hutton Grigg while serving in the Royal North Devon Hussars


Group photo and much helpful family background kindly provided by Penny Otto and Jill McLaren. Portrait photo of Gilbert Grigg kindly provided by Tessa Grigg.