John Elliot (railway manager)

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Sir John Elliot (6 May 1898 – 18 September 1988) was a British transport and railway manager. Born John Elliot Blumenfeld, he was the son of the Daily Mail news editor R. D. Blumenfeld (who later became managing editor of the Daily Express.) He changed his name to John Elliot in March 1923.[1]

After a short period as regular army officer in the 3rd The King's Own Hussars,[2] he joined the Southern Railway in 1925 as a public relations assistant, reporting to the General Manager, and continued in various posts with the company until it was nationalised, with the rest of the railway system, into British Railways in 1947. He continued to work for the nationalised company, rising to Chairman of the Railway Executive, until he was appointed as Chairman of London Transport in 1953, a post he held until 1959. He was Chairman of Thomas Cook & Son Ltd from 1959 until 1967. He received a knighthood in the 1954 New Years honours list.[3]

In October 1937 he was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the Engineer and Railway Staff Corps,[4] and was promoted to full Colonel in May 1951.[5] He commanded the unit from January 1956[6] until he was retired due to his age on 7 May 1963.[7] He resigned his commission in December 1973.[8]

John Elliot's autobiography, On And Off The Rails, was published by George Allen & Unwin in 1982.


  1. ^ "No. 32804". The London Gazette. 9 March 1923. p. 1954. 
  2. ^ "No. 31887". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 May 1920. p. 5190. 
  3. ^ "No. 40053". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1953. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "No. 34461". The London Gazette. 7 December 1937. p. 7660. 
  5. ^ "No. 39306". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 August 1951. p. 4259. 
  6. ^ "No. 40700". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 January 1956. p. 680. 
  7. ^ "No. 43048". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 July 1963. p. 5812. 
  8. ^ "No. 46259". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 April 1974. p. 4600. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas Cook -150 years of Popular Tourism, Piers Brendon, Secker & Warburg, London 1991, pages: 279,287-8,289,294,296,297
  • Elliot, Sir John; Esau, Michael (1982). On and Off the Rails. London: George Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-385089-8. 
Business positions
Preceded by
Eustace Missenden
as General Manager
Acting General Manager,
Southern Railway

Company nationalised
Preceded by
Eustace Missenden
Railway Executive

Railway Executive abolished
Preceded by
Lord Latham
London Transport Executive

Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Valentine
Military offices
Preceded by
Col. V. A. M. Robertson
Officer Commanding,
Engineer and Railway Staff Corps

January 1956 – May 1963
Succeeded by
Col. Alexander Valentine