George Elliott was born in Scotland in 1717. He studied at the University of Leiden and then at the Military Academy in Paris, before serving for two years in the Prussian army. He returned to England and in 1741 was commissioned in the Horse Guards. He saw service in the war of Austrian succession and was wounded at the Battle of Deffingen.
In 1756 he was appointed ADC to King George the second and served in this post until the outbreak of the seven years war in 1759, when he was appointed to command of the First Light Horse. He took part in the battles of Minden and Emsdorf. In 1762 he took part in the capture of Havana during the British expedition to Cuba. Four years later he was promoted to Lt. General and in 1777 was appointed Governor of Gibraltar.
In July 1779 Gibraltar was besieged by a combined French – Spanish force. It was to hold out for over four years until the siege was raised. In 1787, Elliott returned to England where he was made a Knight of the Bath and created Lord Heathfield. It was his plan to return to Gibraltar by travelling through Europe, but in the Aachen area of Germany he suffered a stroke and it was decided to suspend his return to the colony. He died in 1790, still residing in the Aachen area.
He was buried first at the house in Aachen, then at the family estate in Heathfield, Sussex and finally at the church in Devon associated with his wife’s family.
This memorial to Elliott can be found in St Paul’s Cathedral.