The Madras College Archive


Former Pupil Biographies

Dr Robert Meldrum Craig (1882 - 1956)

Dr Robert Meldrum Craig FRSE FGS was a prominent Scottish geologist and academic author. He left a large collection of fossils now housed in the collection of St Andrews University.

He was born on 13 July 1882 in Ardentinny in Argyllshire in northern Scotland, the son of Rev Robert Craig, the local minister. His younger brother John Douglas Craig grew to fame as a classicist. He was schooled at the local parish school and then attended Madras College in St Andrews University. James Manson Craig, Professor of English at St Andrews University was also his brother. Several other brothers grew to fame in the military: Brigade Major Henry David Cook Craig MC; Lt Falconer Gray Craig MC; Cpt Archibald Douglas Craig. Joseph Murison Craig became a surgeon, and his sister Constance Craig became a missionary in China.

In 1909 he began lecturing in Geology at Dundee, then a branch of St Andrews University, moving to St Andrews in 1912.

In the First World War he served first in the Durham Light Infantry then in the 5th South Staffordshire Regiment (rising to the rank of Captain). From 1918 to 1921 he acted as the Government Geologist to Nyasaland in Africa. He then received a professorship at Edinburgh University and remained there from 1921 until retiral, lecturing in Economic Geology. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1925. He won the Society’s Keith Medal for 1925-27.

He served as a President of the Edinburgh Geological Society 1934-6 and Trustee from 1939-48.

He died on 28 March 1956.

Sons and daughters of Robert & Susan Craig

Robert Craig, minister of Ardentinny in 1860 was married to Susan Stewart Meldrum in 1880.  They had several sons in the army and others abroad. Some of the sons are known to have been educated at Madras College.

  • Robert Meldrum Craig b.1882, M.A., BSc., F.G.S., Lecturer in Geology, University of Edinburgh, was a captain in the 5th South Staffordshire Regiment; Madras Pupil;
  • James Manson Craig b.1885, M.A., B.D. was Professor of English, United College, Madras (India); Madras Pupil;
  • John Douglas Craig b.1887, M.A., B.A. (Oxon), Classical Lecturer, University of Sheffield, was a captain R.F.A.; Madras Pupil;
  • Henry David Cook Craig b.1888, M.A., M.C., Order of St Stanisaus, was a brigade major 107th Infantry Brigade, died of typhus at Reval, 13th Feb. 1920;  Madras Pupil;
  • Falconer Gray Craig b.1892, M.C., was a lieutenant in the 3rd Hussars;
  • Joseph Murison Craig b.1893, M.B., Ch.B., F.R.C.S.;
  • Archibald Douglas Craig b.1898 was a captain with 11th Gurkas, India;
  • Andrew Russell Craig b.1901, a rubber planter in Malaya.

Their daughters were:

  • Constance Craig b.1890, M.A., missionary at Ichang, China, born 20th May 1890 (marr. 1st March 1921, John Watt Cameron, Shanghai);
  • Jean Soutar Craig b.1896, M.A.