James Bowes-Lyon

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Sir James Bowes-Lyon
Birth nameFrancis James Cecil Bowes-Lyon
Born19 September 1917
Chelsea, London
Died18 December 1977 (aged 60)
Northumberland, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1938–73
RankMajor General
Commands heldLondon District
Household Division
British Forces in Berlin
52nd Lowland Division District
157th Lowland Brigade
2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross & Bar

Major General Sir Francis James Cecil Bowes-Lyon, KCVO, CB, OBE, MC & Bar (19 September 1917 – 18 December 1977) was a senior British Army officer who served as Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin from 1968 to 1970.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bowes-Lyon was born in Chelsea, London, the son of Capt. Geoffrey Francis Bowes-Lyon, grandson of 13th Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne. He was thus a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. His mother was Edith Katherine Selby-Bigge, daughter of Sir Amherst Selby-Bigge, 1st Baronet.[2] He was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst.[1]

Military career[edit]

Bowes-Lyon was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards in 1938,[3] and served in the Guards Armoured Division during the Second World War.[3]

In 1955 he became Commandant at the Guards Depot and in 1957 he was made Commanding Officer of 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards.[3] He was appointed Military Assistant to Field Marshal Sir Francis Festing, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, in 1960 and Commander of 157th Lowland Brigade in 1963.[3]

He went on to be General Officer Commanding 52nd Lowland Division District in 1966 and Commandant of the British Sector in Berlin in 1968.[3] In 1971 he was appointed Major-General commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District.[3] He retired in 1973.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Bowes-Lyon married Mary de Trafford, daughter of Sir Humphrey de Trafford, 4th Baronet. The couple had three children, two sons, John and David, and a daughter, Fiona. The family lived at Sennicotts in West Sussex.[4]

A descendant of the 13th Earl of Strathmore, he was a Gentleman Usher to the Royal Household[5] and a paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Obituary: Maj-Gen Sir James Bowes-Lyon". The Times. The Times Digital Archive. 22 December 1977. p. 12.
  2. ^ Mosley, Charles, ed. (2003). Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knighthood (107 ed.). Burke's Peerage & Gentry. ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Bowes-Lyon, Sir Francis James Cecil". Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Archived from the original on 25 September 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  4. ^ "History". Sennicotts. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  5. ^ "No. 46197". The London Gazette. 1 February 1974. p. 1395.
  6. ^ Roots.web
Military offices
Preceded by
Henry Leask
GOC 52nd (Lowland) Infantry Division
Succeeded by
Post disbanded
Preceded by
Sir John Nelson
Commandant, British Sector in Berlin
Succeeded by
Lord Cathcart
Preceded by
Lord Michael Fitzalan-Howard
GOC London District
Succeeded by
Sir Philip Ward