Book tells story of Borders aristocrat killed First World War

First World War hero Esmond Elliot.
First World War hero Esmond Elliot.

A new biography tells the story of a young Borders aristocrat killed during the First World War.

Esmond Elliot, the younger son of the fourth earl of Minto, Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, was killed aged just 22 while commanding his company of Scots Guards at the beginning of the Passchendaele offensive in 1917.

A century on, Esmond: The Lost Idol, 1895-1917, has been co-written by the third Baron Astor of Hever, the maternal grandson of First World War field marshal Douglas Haig, and researcher Alexandra Campbell.

Previously-unpublished letters, diaries and photographs as well as his mother Mary Minto’s remarkable tribute to him form the basis of the biography.

Lord Astor said: “My inspiration for writing the book came from my grandmother Violet Astor, the youngest of Esmond’s three elder sisters and the one closest to him.

“In one sense, my great-uncle was an everyman, representative of a generation winnowed on the battlefields of Europe.”

Published by Helion and Company, the book is out now, priced £25.