Fergus Bowes-Lyon

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Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon (18 April 1889 – 27 September 1915) was an older brother of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Early life[edit]

He was born at Glamis Castle in Angus and educated at Eton College, Berkshire. Just a fortnight after the start of World War I, he married Lady Christina Norah Dawson-Damer (7 August 1890 – 29 March 1959), daughter of the 5th Earl of Portarlington, on 17 September 1914. She bore him a daughter, Rosemary Luisa Bowes-Lyon (18 July 1915 – 18 January 1989).[1] He was a keen cricketer and played in the annual autumn fixtures held at the cricket ground at Glamis Castle.[2]

World War I[edit]

In the First World War he served with the 8th Battalion, Black Watch. Alfred Anderson, later the last surviving Scottish soldier of the conflict (and the last surviving British soldier to have been awarded the 1914 Star), was his batman.

Bowes-Lyon was killed during the Battle of the Hohenzollern Redoubt in the Battle of Loos.[3] As he led an attack on the German lines, his leg was blown off by a barrage of German artillery and he fell back into his sergeant's arms. Bullets struck him in the chest and shoulder and he died on the field.[4] He was buried in a quarry at Vermelles, but although the quarry was adopted as a war cemetery the details of his grave were lost and so he was recorded among the names of the missing on the Loos Memorial.

At the time of his death his brother John was also serving with the Black Watch. His younger brother Michael was at home recovering from wounds and his eldest brother, Lord Glamis, had recently left the Black Watch after being wounded.[2] His mother, Cecilia Bowes-Lyon, Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, was severely affected by the loss of her son, and after his death became an invalid, withdrawn from public life until the marriage of her daughter Elizabeth to the future king in 1923.[5] Fergus's widow later married Captain William Frederick Martin (d. 6 October 1947).[1]

In November 2011 his grandson supplied family records to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission detailing his original burial place, and showing that it had remained marked until the end of the war. As a result in August 2012 his place of commemoration was moved to the Quarry Cemetery, Vermelles, marked by a headstone inscribed with his details and the words "Buried near this spot" as the precise location of the grave is still not known.[6][7]

Ancestry[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Charles Mosley (ed.), Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 107th edition (Burke's Peerage and Gentry LLC, 2003) vol. III p. 3783–3784
  2. ^ a b "Captain Fergus Bowes Lyon". The Scotsman. 4 October 1915. 
  3. ^ "Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, 8th Black Watch". 
  4. ^ Hugo Vickers, Elizabeth: The Queen Mother (Arrow Books/Random House, 2006) p.22
  5. ^ The Times (London) Thursday, 23 June 1938; p. 16; col. D
  6. ^ Casualty Details—Bowes-Lyon, The Hon Fergus, Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved on 16 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Final resting place of Queen's uncle discovered nearly a century after his death". Daily Record. 19 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.