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Quarry Cemetery

Only around 500 metres to the east of here was the formidable German strongpoint known as the Hohenzollern Redoubt. A labyrinth of trenches and machine-gun posts, it protected an important German artillery observation point known as Fosse 8, and was considered to be one of the strongest positions on the entire Western Front in 1915. This was where the 9th (Scottish) Division attacked on 25 September.

One of those commemorated in Quarry Cemetery is Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon.

Fergus Bowes-Lyon was an older brother of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon who would become Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Fergus was born at Ham on 18 April 1889. Educated at Eton College in Berkshire, he developed a keen liking for cricket. He would regularly play in the annual autumn cricket match at the family home of Glamis Castle in Angus, Scotland.

Fergus was one of nine children of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. Fergus and two of his brothers began careers in the army before the outbreak of the First World War. A third Lyonbrother, John, would join up after the declaration of war.

In September 1914 Fergus married Lady Christina Dawson-Damer and their daughter Rosemary was born in July 1915.
The other brothers were quickly sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force but Fergus remained in Britain to help train the newly raised 8th Battalion of the Black Watch. The 8th Black Watch formed part of the new 9th (Scottish) Division and Fergus arrived in France with the division in May 1915.

On 25 September, the first day of the Battle of Loos, 9th Division was involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the battle. The 8th Black Watch were in the second wave of the Division's attack on the formidable German position, the 'Hohenzollern Redoubt'. The Scottish battalions captured much of the Redoubt but furious German counter attacks drove the men back over the next three days.

On 27 September Fergus was leading an attack when he was struck by shrapnel from an exploding shell, dying in the arms of one of his company sergeants. He was buried here, but today the precise location of his grave within the cemetery is unknown. His headstone is inscribed 'buried near this spot'.

Fergus's mother was severely affected by the loss of her son and withdrew from public life until 1923 and the marriage of her daughter Elizabeth to Prince Albert, Duke of York. At her wedding in Westminster Abbey, Elizabeth laid her bouquet upon the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in honour of her brother.