Angus Gillan was a member of the Magdalen College crew that won the Visitors’ and the Stewards’ at Henley in 1908 before going on to win the Olympic coxless fours title. Four years later he was a member of the Leander crew that won the eights at Stockholm Games and so became the first oarsman from any country to win two Olympic gold medals. Gillan was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Magdalen College, Oxford and rowed in the Oxford boat in 1907 and 1909, having missed the 1908 race because of a severe attack of influenza. He was also in the Leander crew that won the Grand in 1911. His successes at Henley in 1911 and Stockholm in 1912 were achieved while he was on leave from the Sudan Political Service, which he had joined in 1909. Gillian served with distinction in the Sudan for thirty years, becoming Civil Secretary in 1934. He was appointed a CMG in 1935 and a KBE in 1939 and after the war headed the British Council’s Empire Division, playing a major part in the organization of the 1948 Olympic Games. After his years in Africa, office work in London held little appeal and in 1949 he left to become the British Council Representative in Australia. Gillan returned to England in 1951 and served as Chairman of the royal Overseas League from 1955 to 1962.
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