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Papers of Rev Tom Allan (1916-1965)

Identifier: AA6

Scope and Contents

Sermons and addresses, 1947-1963; essays and lectures, c 1949; publications and articles, 1859-1965; newspaper cuttings, 1955-1965; publicity material; photographs, 1956-1961 and nd; church newsletters, 1962-1964; papers of the “Tell Scotland” Movement, 1954-1955; overseas mission papers; BBC television and radio scripts, 1955-1967; daily diaries, 1948-1963; World Council of Churches conference papers, 1963; committee minutes, 1954-1963. See also External Documents (below).


  • Creation: 1859-1967

Conditions Governing Access

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers at Centre for Research Collections, University of Edinburgh Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ. Contact repository in advance:

Biographical / Historical

Rev Thomas Allan was born on 16 August 1916 in Newmilnes, Ayrshire to William and Agnes. He was educated at Newmilnes Primary School and Kilmarnock Academy before going on to graduate from the University of Glasgow with a first class honours degree in English Literature. In 1945, following a number of years war service in the RAF he entered Trinity Theological College, Glasgow and was ordained a minister of the Church of Scotland in 1946. In 1941 Tom Allan married Jane Moore and they had three children, Margaret Elizabeth, William Thomas and Kenneth John. Rev Tom Allan’s first charge was North Kelvinside Church in Glasgow and he served here until 1953 when he left to join the “Tell Scotland” movement. Tell Scotland started as a result of two Scottish radio missions of the BBC in which leading preachers of several denominations combined in a nation wide evangelistic drive. In 1953 the “Tell Scotland” committee was formed and Rev Tom Allan was appointed evangelistic organiser. He became a key figure in the Scottish evangelical movement of the mid-20th century and travelled extensively throughout Britain in his capacity as evangelist for the Church of Scotland. In 1955 when Billy Graham held his ‘All Scotland Crusade’, Tom Allan was Chairman of the organizing committee. In 1955 Rev Tom Allan accepted a call to become minister of St George’s-Tron Parish Church in Glasgow and he served here until 1964 when he had to retire on the grounds of ill health. In 1955 Rev Allan held youth rallies at St George’s-Tron which proved so popular that accommodation problems were experienced. The services were consequently relayed to churches filled by overflow audiences and by April 1956 five churches were involved and a total of 4,500 tickets were issued on one night. Following a heart attack in 1964 Tom Allan requested demission (or resignation) from St George’s Tron. He later died on the 8th September 1965.


20 boxes


The original administrative order has been adhered to where possible.

Physical Facet

Access to records in a fragile condition may be restricted.

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Repository Details

Part of the New College Library Special Collections Repository

New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh EH1 2LU. Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379