Thursday, 21 February 2013

Fergus writes... about Yellow Ribbons and the Unknown Soldier

Eleanor of New York City writes about the Queen wearing a Yellow Ribbon awaiting news of her brother in the War and wants to know where she can read about it.

HM The Queen did not have any brothers and I think you are perhaps confusing HM The Queen with HM The Queen Mother. Both had the name Elizabeth. I think also it was an earlier war and WWI not WWII.

I think probably you are referring to Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon who married Prince Albert (later King George VI) and laid her wedding bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey in 1923.

Not a Yellow Ribbon but a similar sentiment.

Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon

Killed in action at the Battle of Loos

Grave Unknown

Scottish Soldier of The Black Watch.

 The Queen Mother's five brothers were in the army and her sister Lady Rose became a nurse in London, while Glamis Castle was transformed into a hospital. Lady Elizabeth performed many tasks for the convalescent soldiers, such as taking photographs of them to be sent to their homes, knitting, and sewing khaki shirts. Many of these soldiers came from Australia and New Zealand and, many years later when visiting these countries, she would recognise an "old boy" in the crowd.

In the summer of 1915 her brother, Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, was killed in war action

He was the only member of the British Royal family to be killed in World War 1 - Fergus, an officer in the Black Watch, was killed in action at the Battle of Loos in 1915. Another brother, Michael, was reported as missing in action in May 1917 but was subsequently found to have been taken prisoner after being wounded. He spent the rest of the war as a POW.

In Memory of

8th Bn., Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)
who died age 26
on 27 September 1915
Son of 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, of Glamis Castle, Forfarshire; husband of Lady Christian Bowes-Lyon (now Lady Christian Martin). Educated at Eton. Previously served with 2nd Bn. in India. (Queen Mother's brother).

Remembered with honour

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

He was born at Glamis Castle in Forfarshire and educated at Eton College, Berkshire. Just a fortnight after the start of World War I, he married Lady Christian 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 Lusia Bowes-Lyon (18 July 1915 - 18 January 1989).

In the First World War he served with the 8th Battalion, Black Watch and was killed in the opening stages of the Battle of Loos. Leading 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. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial

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.

The Queen Mother laid her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Westminster Abbey on her wedding day in remembrance of her brother.

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