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James Hill Motion B.Sc, MRCVS & DVSM

James was born in Saltcoats in 1893, the third born of five children and the only one to attend Ardrossan Academy. He went to Glasgow University and earned a B.Sc in Agriculture. He was in the Royal Naval Air Service during the first world war. He then attended Edinburgh University where he obtained a B.Sc and an MRCVS in Veterinary Science. He also obtained a DVSM at the University of London. 

He married in the late 1920s and emigrated to New Zealand in 1928 where he changed his name from 'Motion' to James 'Hill Motion'. He became deputy director at the Wallaceville Research Laboratory near Wellington, and later worked for a short period with the Rata Dairy Company. He did a great deal of research into S.I.D.S. in dairy calves. He set up private practice in Palmerston North in 1940. He did some part time lecturing at Massey Agricultural College in Palmerston North. In his last few years before retirement at 74 he also worked for the Levin Dairy Company.

James had five children, and eventually died in Palmerston North, New Zealand, in April 1984.


James was a member of the Eglinton Harriers Race Team and was Mile Champion for Scotland around 1921.

Celtic Park Team Race in Glasgow in February 1916

W. Turnbull

Jack Kyle

James Hill Motion

W. Rainey

William Anderson

J. Morrison

W.R.Bannatyne

Eglinton Harriers 1915-16
[ The trainer on the far right is William Gilmour. Thanks to his grandson, William Scollon, for this info.]

Showing all the prizes they won - James Hill Motion (left) and W R Bannatyne (right). W. R. Bannatyne is an Ardrossan man.

The Scottish Cross Country Team 1921 - James Hill Motion is number 30

When James attended Edinburgh University one of his close friends was Eric Liddell, probably one of the best sprinters that the world has ever known.

The 1981 film, Chariots of Fire, is based in part on the story of Eric Liddell.

Eric Liddell

My thanks to J.R.( Ron ) Tapp, nephew of James Hill Motion and former pupil ( left 1946 ) of Ardrossan Academy, and to James' daughter, Jeanette Conland (nee Hill-Motion), for providing the above information.