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
One of those commemorated in Quarry Cemetery is Captain
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 brother, 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.