Father Edmund Carruth

born 18 April 1910 in Paisley
died 2 July 1988 aged 78
professed 29 September 1928
clothed 28 September 1927
solemn profession 29 September 1934
ordained 1 August 1937

Born George Ignatius Carruth, the eldest child of George and Giacomina  Maria (née Corti) Carruth on 18 April 1910 in Paisley. Fr Edmund was one many children which included Joe Carruth (who himself came to study at Fort Augustus and joined, for a short period, the Abbey and later went on to play for Celtic.)  Fr Edmund was educated at Fort Augustus and entered the monastery directly from the school. He gained his rugby colours in 1926 (with J Eaves – later Abbot Oswald Eaves and J McCombes – later Fr Ethelbert McCombes) as well as his cricket colours in 1926 (together with R McKillop (Father Andrew MacKillop) and 1927 (together with H Boultwood – later Abbot Alban Boultwood and and J McCombes – later Fr Ethelbert McCombes). Between 1926 and 1929, there was always a Carruth on the rugby colours board (1926 G Carruth (Fr Edmund), 1927 J Carruth (Fr Aloysius), 1928 J Carruth, D Carruth, 1929 D Carruth) and likewise of the cricket colours board 1926 G Carruth, 1927 G Carruth, 1928 J Carruth, 1929 J Carruth, 1930 D Carruth

Father Edmund went into the monastery straight from school to university.

Abbey Boys reports;

On the 29 September there was additional cause for rejoicing when four Old Boys entered the Noviatiate – George (Edmund) Carruth, Joseph (Clement) King, John (Ethelbert) McCombes and John (Oswald Eaves).

Brother Edmund was sent to St Andrews Priory in Edinburgh to undertake his degree together with Brs Denys Rutledge, Ethelbert McCombes and Andrew McKillop. In 1934, he was awarded the degree of MA with Honours in German from Edinburgh University.

Later in 1934, he was solemnly professed and on 2 August was raised to the diaconate (together with Fr Anselm Richardson). On 1 August 1937, together with Fr Anselm Richardson, he was ordained Bishop Bennet (on Old Boy) and, at the same mass, Bros. Ethelbert McCombes, Andrew McKillop and Maurus Whitehead received the diaconate and Bros. Alban Boultwood and his brother Aloysius Carruth the subdiaconate on the same day.

On 18 November 1941, Fr Edmund joined the Royal Air Force as a Chaplain (Squadron Leader) as notified in the London Gazette of 27 January 1942.

In 1940, Fr Edmund was reported as seeing the Loch Ness Monster “I was out in a boat with two friends in bright sunshine.” Edmund Carruth the prior, recalls that summer day in 1940 “She surfaced not 200 yards away, played around for a while and had a good gawk at us before she swam away. I thought I detected a smile on her face as she dove out of sight.” Fr Edmund subsequently appeared in person in a Youtube documentary on the Loch Ness Monster (Monsters, Mysteries or Myths 1974 by Rod Serling).

Fr Edward Delepine in his unpublished Outline History of Fort Augustus Abbey refers to Fr Edmund returning to Carlekemp in 1962 as Superior. “It was under Dom Edmund that the stable block was converted into the “priory” for the monks to live in away from the noise of the school proper” Fr Edward’s unpublished Outline History of Fort Augustus Abbey.

He was recalled from Carlekemp in April 1965 to become prior at Fort Augustus.

Abbey Boys makes reference to Fr Edmund being an experienced climber.

In 1971, he was the parish priest at Fort Augustus and Invermoriston.

Fr Edmund published 2 books;

  • 1969 Mary and the Council
  • 1973 The Priest and the Council

In July 1974, Fr Edmund retired.

In 1976, he left the monastery to take up parish duties at Little Malvern near Worcester. His brother Fr Aloysius had left the monastery in 1974 to go to Zimbabwe.

Fr Edmund died suddenly on July 2 1988, aged 78 and is buried in the Abbey monastery.

Father Edmund”s headstone in the monk’s cemetery

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