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James Ritchie Gilfillan, from Saltcoats, was born on 22nd December 1896, son of Margaret and John Gilfillan, a house painter. Gilfillan attended The Glasgow School of Art from 1919 to 1923. During the First World War, Gilfillan served as a Private for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders battalion from 1914. After the war, he worked as an artist, painting still life from his Ayrshire home. He married Janet Drummond Hart Knox on 15th July 1925 in Ardrossan. One of his paintings, Ferry off the Antrim Coast is held at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC). He died in Ayr in 1968, aged 72. James Gilfillan is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.
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Sources: the Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture by Peter J M McEwan; Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; BBC: Your Paintings http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/ferry-off-the-antrim-coast-84107