Donald Alfred Elliott was born 12 November 1878 the son of a woollen merchant, Alfred H Elliott and his wife Julia in Hampstead.
He left Merchant Taylors in 1894 and went into the Insurance trade in the City, becoming a director of the Insurance brokers Muir, Beddall & Co.
He served in the Great War as a Lieutenant in the RNVR and became pilot attached to the nascent Royal Flying Corps.
He was Master of the Lodge in both 1914 and 1915.
He was also the First Worshipful Master of Royal Navy Anti-Aircraft Lodge No 3700, consecrated in April 1917. In a ceremony with over 500 masons present, an achievement given the war, he was installed by the Grand Secretary assisted by Admiral Sir Hastings Markham and Rear-Admiral E F Inglefield (who was also Provincial Grand Master, for Buckinghamshire). The Bible used in the ceremony and the warrant of the lodge were bound with boards cut from a piece of the propeller of one of the Zeppelins brought down in England, and part of the regalia of the lodge officers was made of aluminium from the Zeppelins brought down at Cuffey and in Essex.