Diamond War Memorial Project

Captain Arnold Reed Tillie

8th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) and Royal Flying Corps. Regimental Number ----
Born: ---- Died: 1916-05-11 Aged: 22 Enlisted: ------

Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Second son of William and Alice Tillie, Elstow, Caw, Londonderry. Grandson of Mr William Tillie, H.M.L., Duncreggan House. Possibly brother of Agnes Moira, who married Nicholas Wyndham Wadham, Flight Lieutenant, R.A.F., eldest son of Mr and Mrs John Charles Wadham, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, on October 21, 1922, at St John’s Church, Smith’s Square, Westminster. Nephew of Alexander Tillie, who died on October 20, 1925, at a Nursing Home in London, in his 68th year. Nephew of Mrs J. B. Reed, Red Roof, Londonderry.

Captain Tillie served with the Scottish Rifles, and since August 1915 was in the Royal Flying Corps, in which he was flight commander. Three of his brothers served in the army – Second Lieutenant John Archibald Tillie (who was killed in July 1918), Second Lieutenant T. L. Tillie, 8th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), and Lieutenant Colonel William Kingsley Tillie, 8th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment/Machine Gun Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel William Kingsley Tillie was educated at Charterhouse School, enlisted as a private soon after the outbreak of the First World War, and, in January 1915, received a commission in the Royal West Kent Regiment. He was awarded the Military Cross ‘for conspicuous gallantry and ability near Hulluch on 26th September, 1915. He handled his machine guns with great skill, and continued to serve a gun single-handled after all the team had become casualties, until his ammunition was exhausted. He brought his gun back himself. Finally, when all the other officers of his battalion had become casualties, he showed great courage and resource, and brought the battalion out of action in good order.’ Lieutenant Colonel Tillie, who was an enthusiastic athlete, and a noted badminton player, was later appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, ‘for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. The personal reconnaissances made by him under very heavy fire were of the utmost value. His energy and fearlessness in going amongst his men at critical periods at great personal risk set a fine example and inspired great confidence. The determination with which he handled his machine guns was largely responsible for defeating many hostile attacks.’
Arnold Reed Tillie’s father, Mr William J. Tillie, did not come into prominence in Londonderry until the death of his brother, Mr Marshall Tillie, D.L., his earlier years having been spent mostly abroad, more particularly in Germany, or in the management of the Glasgow establishment of the great shirt and collar making firm. On returning to his native city to take his brother’s place at the head of the Londonderry factory, William Tillie intimately identified himself with the city and took a deep interest in its public affairs, before his death, in his sixty-fifth year, in July 1920.
The name of Arnold Reed Tillie was read aloud at a memorial service held, in St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, July 30, 1916, to pay homage to the memory of the men of the city of Derry, who died during the second year of the First World War. His name was also read out during a memorial service in First Derry Presbyterian Church held, on Sunday, July 1, 1917, to commemorate the members of that congregation who, up to that time, had made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War.