Louis Greig

Group Captain Sir Louis Leisler Greig, KBE, CVO (17 November 1880 – 1 March 1953) was a Scottish naval surgeon, rugby player, courtier and intimate of King George VI.

Louis Leisler Greig
George VI and Louis Greig
Greig and King George VI
Birth nameLouis Leisler Greig
Date of birth17 November 1880
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
Date of death1 March 1953 (aged 72)
Place of deathHam, Surrey, England
SchoolGlasgow Academy & Merchiston Castle School
UniversityUniversity of Glasgow
Occupation(s)Stockbroker, surgeon, royal equerry
Rugby union career
Position(s) Forward
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- United Services Portsmouth ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British and Irish Lions

Rugby union

Greig was a successful rugby player, and was capped for Scotland and the British and Irish Lions when they took their 1903 British Lions tour to South Africa.[1] He took part in all three tests against South Africa as well as some of the provincial matches.


Grieg was born in Glasgow on 17 November 1880, the ninth of the eleven children of Jessie, née Thomson (1844–1915) and Robert David Greig (1838–1900), a prosperous merchant and founder of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Association for Women's Suffrage.[2] Greig was educated at Glasgow Academy and Merchiston Castle School before studying medicine at the University of Glasgow. Academically gifted, Greig was also an excellent rugby union and tennis player. After a few years practicing as a junior doctor in the Gorbals, he joined the navy in 1906 and won the gold medal during his training at Haslar.

In 1909, Greig entered officer training at the Royal Naval College, Osborne, where he met Prince Albert, later George VI. He lived at Thatched House Lodge at the time. He served as a mentor for the gauche and diffident prince, and the two served together in HMS Cumberland, where he was posted as a surgeon. He was transferred to the Royal Marines in 1914, and was captured at the fall of Antwerp, spending eight months as a prisoner of war. Earlier his elder brother Robert C Greig of Capelrig, Renfrewshire had founded the firm of RC Greig stockbrokers of Glasgow and London, and his elder sister Constance had married John Scrimgeour, stockbroker in London.[1]

Released by a prisoner exchange, Greig married Phyllis Scrimgeour on 16 February 1916, by whom he had three children:[3]

Greig joined the company of HMS Malaya in June 1917, rejoining Prince Albert, and helped cure the prince of the severe peptic ulcers from which he suffered. During the next seven years, he was extensively in attendance on the Prince, receiving an appointment as an equerry to the Prince in 1918. Prince Albert and his Equerry both joined the Royal Air Force in 1919 (Greig rising to the rank of Wing Commander), and the two were partners at Wimbledon, an event which brought Greig's influence with the Prince into public light.

He continued to mentor and advise the Prince (created Duke of York, 1920), acting as a surrogate father and encouraging his social life. He encouraged the Duke of York's courtship of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, which was ultimately to have significant consequences for Greig's relations with the Duke. While he was made a CVO (26 April 1923) for his services, Elizabeth, as Duchess of York, gradually displaced him as an intimate of the Duke. Ultimately, Greig was omitted from a royal tour of the Balkans and consequently resigned his equerryship. However, he was created a Gentleman Usher in Ordinary on 1 March 1924. Greig's subsequent life was uneventful. He successfully joined J&A Scrimgeour (a firm connected with his wife) as a stockbroker.

He went into a brief eclipse under King Edward VIII, who disliked him, and resigned his ushership on 21 July 1936. However, upon the accession of his George VI, he was appointed an Extra Gentleman Usher (1 March 1937), and was also elected chairman of Wimbledon. He rejoined the RAF in 1939, serving as a liaison with the Air Ministry and reaching the rank of group captain. He was operated on for cancer in 1952, but succumbed in early 1953 and was buried in Ham, Surrey.

Political activities

Greig was a member of the January Club, an establishment ginger group for the British Union of Fascists.[5][6] Despite being a stockbroker he formed a friendship with the Labour Party leader Ramsay MacDonald.[2] Greig played a small role in the formation of the National Government in 1931, and was appointed KBE on 3 June 1932, in which year he was also appointed Deputy Ranger of Richmond Park.[2]


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Scotland Rugby Miscellany (Vision Sports Publishing Ltd, 2007; ISBN 1-905326-24-6)
  • Biography of Louis Greig - Louis and the Prince - by grandson Geordie Greig, published in 1999 by Hodder and Stoughton ISBN 0-340-72883-3
  • Goodwin, Terry Complete Who's Who of International Rugby (Cassell, 1987; ISBN 0-7137-1838-2)
  • Ziegler, Philip (2004). "Greig, Sir Louis Leisler (1880–1953)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 August 2007. (subscription required)


  1. ^ a b Bath, p117
  2. ^ a b c "Greig, Sir Louis Leisler (1880-1953), courtier". www.oxforddnb.com. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/72391. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Greig Family Tree". Retrieved 7 August 2007.
  4. ^ Tomlinson, Richard (20 December 1992). "They also serve, who only ush". Independent.
  5. ^ MI5 report, 1 August 1934, PRO HO 144/20144/110, cited in Keele, Thomas Norman (1998). Blackshirts Torn: Inside the British Union of Fascists, 1932–1940 (PDF) (MA). Simon Fraser University. p. 26. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Resistance to fascism". Glasgow Digital Library. University of Strathclyde. Retrieved 3 August 2015.

External links

1903 British Lions tour to South Africa

The 1903 British Isles tour to South Africa was the fifth tour by a British Isles team and the third to South Africa. It is retrospectively classed as one of the British Lions tours, as the Lions naming convention was not adopted until 1950.

Led by Scotland's Mark Morrison and managed by Johnny Hammond the tour took in 22 matches. Of the games three were test matches, played against the South Africa national rugby union team. The British Isles drew the first two test matches and lost the final encounter.

Having lost only one game out of 40 matches in the previous two tours of South Africa, the British Isles team were truly tested by the South African rugby nation on this tour. Of the 22 games played, the tourist won eleven, drew three and lost eight. Unlike past teams, the British Isles three-quarter line was not seen as the team's strongest asset and more reliance was placed in the pack. Of the backs, only Reg Skrimshire, the only Welsh player selected, was judged to have shown any true flair; while the pack failed to live up to expectations, even when led by Scottish power-house David Bedell-Sivright.

The tour included Louis Leisler Greig, who later became well known as a royal equerry, friend of George VI and became a prominent member of the far right January Club.

1920 Wimbledon Championships – Men's Doubles

Chuck Garland and R. Norris Williams defeated Algernon Kingscote and James Cecil Parke in the final, 4–6, 6–4, 7–5, 6–2 to win the Gentlemen' Doubles tennis title at the 1920 Wimbledon Championships. The reigning champions Pat O'Hara Wood and Ronald Thomas did not defend their title.

1926 Wimbledon Championships – Men's Doubles

Jean Borotra and René Lacoste were the defending champions, but decided not to play together. Lacoste partnered with Paul Féret but withdrew before the start of the competition. Borotra played with Leonce Aslangul, but lost to Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet in the quarterfinals.

Brugnon and Cochet defeated Howard Kinsey and Vincent Richards in the final, 7–5, 4–6, 6–3, 6–2 to win the Gentlemen' Doubles tennis title at the 1926 Wimbledon Championship.The Duke of York, the future King George VI, remains the only member of the British royal family to ever compete at Wimbledon after competing in the Men's Doubles tournament. Partnering with his mentor and advisor Louis Greig, the pair were eliminated in the first round by former champions Herbert Roper Barrett and Arthur Gore.

Carron Greig

Sir Henry Louis Carron Greig (21 February 1925 – 11 July 2012), usually known simply as Carron Greig, was an English business executive, landowner and courtier.

Football Lads Alliance

The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) is a movement in the United Kingdom founded by John Meighan in 2017. According to The Times, "the movement was set up as a self-proclaimed 'anti-extremist' movement" but has increasingly become associated with far-right politics and far-right activists.The Premier League has warned clubs that "the group is using fans and stadiums to push an anti-Muslim agenda". Concern has also been expressed that the Alliance is "giving cover to the far right" and "uses a secret Facebook page full of violent, racist and misogynistic posts".

Geordie Greig

George Carron Greig (born 1960), known as Geordie Greig, is an English journalist and editor of the Daily Mail.

George Cunningham (civil servant)

Sir George Cunningham (23 March 1888 – 8 December 1963) was an administrator in British India who in his early years was a notable sportsperson, representing and later captaining the Scottish national team at rugby union.

George VI

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

Known publicly as Albert until his accession, and "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, and was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort. As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He attended naval college as a teenager, and served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1920, he was made Duke of York. He married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never fully overcame.

George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British prime minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated to marry Simpson, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

During George's reign, the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations accelerated. The parliament of the Irish Free State removed direct mention of the monarch from the country's constitution on the day of his accession. The following year, a new Irish constitution changed the name of the state to Ireland and established the office of President. From 1939, the Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – was at war with Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively. Though Britain and its allies were ultimately victorious in 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, George remained king of both countries, but relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948. Ireland formally declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth in 1949, and India became a republic within the Commonwealth the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign. On his death, he was succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth II.

Glasgow Academicals RFC

The Glasgow Academical Football Club is the third oldest rugby football club in Scotland. The club was also a founder member of the Scottish Football Union (the future SRU) in 1873.

Household of Queen Elizabeth II

The Royal Households of the United Kingdom consists of royal officials and the supporting staff of the British Royal Family, as well as the Royal Household which supports the Sovereign. Each member of the Royal Family who undertakes public duties has their own separate household. When Elizabeth II succeeded her father George VI as sovereign of the United Kingdom, she appointed a new household.

The information below is an incomplete list of the senior officers of the Royal Household. For all those appointed on 5 August 1952, the source is: London Gazette, 1 August 1952 (issue 39616), pp. 4197–4202.

Where the names of offices are linked to other articles,lists of subsequent incumbents will generally be found.

January Club

The January Club was a discussion group founded in 1934 by Oswald Mosley to attract Establishment support for the movement known as the British Union of Fascists.

The Club was under the effective control of Robert Forgan, working on behalf of the BUF. The founders as identified by MI5 were Forgan, Donald Makrill, Francis Yeats-Brown and H. W. Luttman-Johnson. Members of the January Club included Wing-Commander Sir Louis Greig; Lord Erskine, a Conservative and Unionist MP and assistant Government whip; Lord William Montagu-Douglas-Scott, brother of the 8th Duke of Buccleuch and Conservative and Unionist MP; and (according to Nigel H. Jones' biography of Mosley) Lord and Lady Russell of Liverpool.

Sir Charles Petrie, who participated in the club's early stages, discusses the club at some length (and offers criticisms of Mosley's methods) in his 1972 memoir, A Historian Looks at his World. Poet and editor J. C. Squire was another author initially involved with the club, but Petrie describes Squire as having "found the atmosphere uncongenial before long". Petrie's memoir also mentions Yeats-Brown as soon complaining: "The January Club will probably collapse; anyway I'm not going to the next meeting. Mosley is not human enough."

List of Gentlemen Ushers

This page is a list of Gentlemen Ushers to the British Royal Household from the Restoration up to the present day. Gentlemen Ushers originally formed three classes: Gentlemen Ushers of the Privy Chamber, Gentlemen Ushers Daily Waiters, and Gentlemen Ushers Quarterly Waiters. The number of ordinary ushers of these classes were fixed at four, four, and eight, respectively, but ushers "in extraordinary" were sometimes appointed. After 1901, these distinctions between the Gentlemen Ushers were abolished, except between the ordinary and extraordinary ushers (and two "honorary" ushers in the early 20th century). There are currently ten Gentleman Ushers with three representing the Royal Navy, four representing the Army and three representing the Royal Air Force.

List of University of Glasgow people

The following list of University of Glasgow people provides a selection of the well-known people who have studied or taught at the University of Glasgow since its inception in 1451. Historical lists of Chancellors, Rectors and Principals of the University are contained in those offices' respective articles.

Page of Honour

A Page of Honour is a ceremonial position in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. It requires attendance on state occasions, but does not now involve the daily duties which were once attached to the office of page. The only physical activity involved is usually carrying the long train of the Queen's dress.

While a page is a comparatively low-ranking servant, a Page of Honour is a distinguished position. It is usually a distinction granted to teenage sons of members of the nobility and gentry, and especially of senior members of the Royal Household. Pages of Honour feature in British Coronations, the State Opening of Parliament, and other ceremonies.

Sharon Ebanks

Sharon Elizabeth Ebanks (born 1967 or 1968) is a former member of the British National Party and one of the founder members of the New Nationalist Party. In 2006, she was wrongly declared elected to Birmingham City Council.

Ted Tinling

Cuthbert Collingwood "Ted" Tinling (23 June 1910 – 23 May 1990), sometimes known as Teddy Tinling, was an English tennis player, fashion designer, spy and author. He was a firm fixture on the professional tennis tour for over sixty years and is considered the foremost designer of tennis dresses of the 20th Century.

Thatched House Lodge

Thatched House Lodge is a Grade II-listed building, dating from the 17th century, in Richmond Park in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in London, England. It was the home of British prime minister Sir Robert Walpole and, since 1963, has been a royal residence, being leased from the Crown Estate by Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (born Princess Alexandra of Kent), and, until his death in 2004, her husband, Sir Angus Ogilvy.

The main house has six reception rooms and six bedrooms, and it stands in four acres (1.6 hectares) of grounds. The property includes gardens, an 18th-century two-room thatched summer house which gave the main house its name, a gardener's cottage, stabling and other buildings.

The Link (UK organization)

The Link was established in July 1937 as an 'independent non-party organisation to promote Anglo-German friendship'. It generally operated as a cultural organisation, although its journal, the Anglo-German Review, reflected the pro-Nazi views of Barry Domvile, and particularly in London it attracted a number of anti-semites and pro-Nazis. At its height the membership numbered around 4,300.

The Link was opposed to war between Britain and Germany, and because of this attracted the support of some British pacifists. When The Link and the Anglo-German Review were included among a number of peace organisations across the political spectrum in the Peace Service Handbook (a publication put out by the Peace Pledge Union), the Daily Telegraph and The News Chronicle published articles accusing the PPU of supporting Nazism. In response, PPU member Stuart Morris wrote to the papers stating there was no connection between the PPU and The Link, and that the former organisation did not support the German demand for colonies or peace at the expense of smaller nations. The PPU also sent a letter to its group leaders dissociating The Link from the PPU, and ceased publishing the Peace Service Handbook.The organisation was investigated by Maxwell Knight, head of counter-subversion in MI5 and future role model for James Bond's boss M. The organisation closed shortly after the start of World War II in 1939.

Barry Domvile was interned in 1940 as someone who might "endanger the safety of the realm".According to Anthony Masters, the Link was allegedly resurrected in 1940 by Ian Fleming, then working in the Department of Naval Intelligence, in order to successfully lure Rudolf Hess (deputy party leader and third in leadership of Germany, after Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring) to Britain in May 1941.

United Services Portsmouth Rugby Football Club

The United Services Portsmouth RFC is a long established rugby union club that although no longer in the top flight of English rugby has a strong history boasting a number of former international players They currently play in London 3 South West following the clubs promotions as champions of Hampshire 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.


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