Elizabeth McLACHLAN

Regiment:               Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps  

Rank & Number:     
No. 23666  

23 September 1895;  Fairlie Lodge Gatehouse,

                        08 November 1964; Largs  

Sister of Duncan & Ian McLachlan and Robert

ELIZABETH MCLACHLAN, known as Lily, was born 23 Sep 1895 in Fairlie Lodge Gatehouse, Fairlie, to parents John, a gardener, and Margaret Ramsay (who married in Glasgow on 24 Nov 1882).  She died in Largs on 08 Nov 1964, and is buried in Largs Cemetery.  

She married James McKay in Largs in Oct 1926.  

In the 1901 Census, Lily is aged 5, and living at Fairlie Lodge Gatehouse with parents John (43, gardener domestic, born Argyll) & Margaret (43, born Glasgow), and siblings Jane S. (15), Robert (13), Peter (10), John (7), Margaret (2) and Duncan (5m).  She attended Fairlie School and Largs H.G. School, where she received the Kelburn Bursary for transport and books.  

She worked as assistant to a Sick Children's Nurse in private homes in Glasgow, and in the 1911 Census, aged 15, she is under nurse in the household of a stockbroker at 24 Kensington Gate, Hyndland, Glasgow.  The rest of the family are still at Fairlie Lodge Cottage, although they leave the village in 1914, moving first to West Kilbride and then to Largs, where father John becomes gardener at Brooksby Gardens.   

After discharge from the army, Lily returned to her parents in Largs where, as her father was ill, she took over his duties as gardener until he died in June 1920.  After her father's death, Lily, her mother and two sisters secured a sailing to Canada for October, 1920, to join her brothers who had emigrated earlier.  Until then they moved into furnished accommodation in West Kilbride, and Lily took a summer job in Mackay’s Tearooms, Largs where she met her future husband James Mackay, who was a baker there.  The rest of the family settled in St. Catherine's, Ontario, but in September 1926 Lily returned to Scotland to marry James Mackay.    

Joined Q.M.A.A.C. in Jan 1918 and worked at Hamilton Barracks as an assistant cook, with five other young women, a senior lady cook and an elderly soldier, who was their butcher – the meat arrived on the hoof!  They cooked for 500 men, and rations were supplied by the regiment at the barracks at the time.  She was discharged in Dec 1919.

  McLachlan Family c1902:  Father John, Jean,
  Robert, Peggy, Lily, mother Margaret & Duncan,
  Peter, Ian (front)
   Lily and brother Duncan

Images courtesy Betty Turner


Fairlie Community Association SCIO
Scottish Charity No. SC028785