CUSTODIANS OF THE KINGS MESSENGER COLLECTION
Realized with the help and support of Mr. Neill Gilhooley
Source: 9th Battalion (Highlanders) The Royal Scots By James Ferguson - 1909
Major Gordon mentions James Ferguson in his book, Culled from a Dairy as the founder of the 9th royal scots regiment.
James Ferguson was the first commander and colonel of the 9th Royal Scots and was appointed on 24 July 1900. His son James Ferguson (jr.) also served in the 9th Royal scots and was appointed Major. He served with the regiment in France during the first world war and died on 22 July 1916. James (Sr.) studied in Birkenhead, Liverpool, and later at the Craigmount School, Edinburgh, his further education was at Edinburgh University, from which he graduated in arts and law in 1875/1876, and was admitted to Faculty in 1879. In September of 1898, he was appointed Sheriff of Argyllshire and was incorporated in the King's Counsel in 1902. In 1905 he resigned from his position as Sheriff of Argyll.
In 1885 he married Georgina Agnew and the couple received two sons, one of whom died unfortunately in his infancy. Ferguson had a great interest in railway law, and published an edition of 'Deas on Railways'. In 1882 he was appointed an honorary secretary of the National Union of Conservative. He also wrote well-known treatises on the Law of Roads, and the Law of Water in Scotland and had an interest in historical matters and edited a collection of papers regarding the Scots Brigade in the Netherlands.
James Ferguson military career began in 1900 when he served in his local volunteer battalion of the Gordon Highlanders (The Buchan Rifles). He established the 9th Royal Scots together with Major Gordon and an anonymous friend, and the battalion was then known as the Highlander's battalion, the Queens Rifle Volunteer Brigade, Royal Scots. Later on, it as nicknamed 'the Dandy Ninth'. Ferguson became the first commanding officer of the regiment during the Boer War till 1904. During the First World War he was appointed Colonel, and the regiment was listed as a reserve battalion. The regiment later shipped some 2.000 officers and men to France during the war. Ferguson only stayed one week at the front in 1916, and although under fire, he didn't participate in any fighting. The newspaper The Scotsman reported that he possessed a "somewhat stiff and frigid exterior'.
James Ferguson (Sr.) died on 26 April 1917 at his home, 10 Wemyss Place, Edinburgh of malignant neoplasm of the lung.
James Ferguson's surviving son James Jr. also served in his father's regiment, beeing the 9th Royal Scots. James Jr. was born on February 1886, at 41 Manor Place and studied at Edinburgh Academy and Charterhouse and took later his arts and law degrees at Edingburgh University between 1904 and 1913. Because of his father's involvement by establishing the regiment, it was almost inevitable that he would join the regiment and became a Second Lieutenant in 1904 and was promoted to major by September 1915. The regiment was based at 89 East Claremont Street, Edinburgh and landed at Le Havre in February 1915 with the 81st Brigade in the 51st (Highland) Division. In January 1916 he was mentioned in dispatches and was located at High Wood when on the first of July 1916, the Somme Offensive was launched. James Jr. was eventually killed the day before the major offensive began on 23 July 1916. By this time the regiment had fought at Arras, Mametz Wood on the Somme and just 3 days before his death the regiment had taken over the frontline in the vicinity of Bazentin-le-Grand wood, which was located at High Wood. Here he commanded B Company, which were encountered by terrific machine-gun fire, in which all the officers where hit. Only a few men returned from the fatal enterprise that day. James Jr. Ferguson is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme
One of his subordinates James Jr. Ferguson fought with was lieutenant Walter Scott Stuart Lyon. Lieutenant Lyon was the first advocate who was killed in action in the First World War.
Colonel James Ferguson together with his son James (jr), are the only father and son commemorated on the Faculty war memorial. Although James Ferguson (sr) didn't die in active service he is still mentioned in the memorial but is not mentioned in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's records.
COMMISSIONED THE SAME DAY AS CAPTAIN A. A. GORDON
Major A. A. Gordon was appointed to Captain on the 6th of August 1900 and was second in command of Colonel Ferguson. On the 6th of August 1900 only three men where listed in the Army registery list on the 9th Volunteer Battalion (Highlanders).
Ernest was born on 26 March 1862 in Edinburgh as the son of Gilbert Mitchell Innes and Antoniette Amelia Barclay Macpherson.
Ernest Michel Innes died in 1909 in Kensington at the age of 47.
QUARTER MASTER ANDREW GORDON
APPOINTED: 6 AUGUST 1900
Born 26th March 1861 as the son of Alexander Gordon.
Served in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Seaforth Highlanders from 1879 till 1880.
He served in the First World War and was sent to France in May 1915 and served until May 1918. Mention in despatches, London Gazette 18 Dec 1917 and Decorated with the territorial decoration in 1919.
After the war, he was Director of Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society and was associated with the Royal Forth Yacht Club at Granton.
He was married and received 3 children.
One of his sons, William Finlay Gordon died in a shooting accident, of which the following notice was written in the Edinburgh Evening Dispatch on 23-07-1917:
"Apparently, William was a motor driver with the Red Cross. He was visiting a friend in Greenhill Gardens and they were examining an automatic pistol. They fired at a few targets and then the gun jammed. William tried to fix it but failed and passed it to his friend. As the friend sought to clear the jam the gun went off and William was shot in the chest. He died in Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary."
Andrew Gordon died in 1921 at Afton Terrace, Edinburgh.
Born 2nd January 1859 as the son of James Clark. He studied law and became an advocate to the Scots Bar.
Captain (Later Lt Colonel) James Clark served with the 5th Volunteer Battalion from 1876 till 1877. In 1886 he joined the Mounted Infantry, Q.R.V.B., R.S. till 1890. He was commissioned into the 9th Royal Scots on 18th August 1900 and promoted Major on 19th November 1904. After Lt. Colonel resigned his commission in 1904, Major Clark was appointed the new commanding officer of the battalion and Lt. Colonel on 17th December 1904. in 1908 he was gazetted to command the Territorial unit.
Lt. Colonel Clark served during the First World War as the commander of the 9th Argyll and Sutherland Highland. He was killed in action on 10th May 1915 at Hooge, during the second battle of Ypres.
Born 8th October 1865 as the son of Right Hon. Sir J. H. A. Macdonald (Lord Kingsburgh) He studied law and became an advocate to the Scots Bar.
Captain Macdonald was appointed Captain on the 18th of August 1900, when he was transferred to the battalion from the Queen Rifles Volunteer Brigade where he was appointed Captain on the 13th of April 1889.
He resigned his commission on 24th June 1905.
Born 10th November 1867 as the son of Sir Thomas Clark
Captain Thomas G. Clark was appointed in the battalion on the 23rd of August 1900, when he was transferred to the 9th battalion from the 5th Volunteer battalion where he was appointed Lieutenant on the 29 November 1890. He was promoted to Major on 8th June 1906. On 1st of October 1914, he was given his older rank of Major back and was enlisted in the reserves. He assumed command of the 2/9th on 2nd March 1915 after Col Ferguson broke his leg. Later on, he joined the 5th Prov Scottish Bn with Home Service group on 20 May 15. He was later appointed Lt. Colonel.
CAPTAIN ALASTAIR M. CAMPBELL
APPOINTED: 12 DECEMBER 1900
Born 6th December 1868 as the son of Archibald James Campbell. He succeeded his grandfather as Civil-engineer in 1902. Before joining the 9th Royal Scots, he formerly served with Hongkong Artillery in 1889 and later transferred to the 2nd Volunteer Battalion as a Lieutenant. He instructed Musketry from June 1901 till June 1903, for which he attended Musketry Course at Hyth in April 1901. He became Captain of the Highlanders Battalion shooting team.
He commanded E. Company.
Resigned from the battalion on 28th January 1905.
Captain Alexander Stevenson was born on 3rd June 1865 as the son of Patrick Blair, Advocate and Sheriff-Substitute of Inverness-Shire (a colleague of James Ferguson) and Catherine White Stevenson. He studied law at Loretto and Brasenose College in Oxford from 1886 till 1889.
In June 1901 he was incorporated in the 2nd HLI at Aldershot for a month. He attended Musketry Course at Hythe in September 1902 and passed in Tactics 1903.
He enlisted the 9th Royal Scots in December 1900 as a Captain and was promoted to Major in 1908 and later on became Luitenant-Colonel of the battalion. In August 1914 he was mobilized and sent to France in 1915 till 1917 where he Commanded ‘D’ Coy and was mentioned in Dispatches in 1916 and 1917. He is mentioned in the Edinburgh Roll of Honour in 1921. Attached to 2nd HLI at Aldershot for a month of June 1901. Attended Musketry Course at Hythe, Sept 1902. Passed in Tactics 1903.
Alexander Stevenson died on 10 September 1936 and is buried at Dean Cemetery Edinburgh.
Georges D. Cowan was born in 1884 He went to B.A. Oxford in 1901 and enlisted in the army. He studied Law from 1906 till 1910 and became an advocate.
Lieutenant G. D. Cowan was mobilized in August 1914. He arrived in France on February 1915 and was promoted to Major in June 1916. Major G. D. Cowan was wounded on 3 Aug 1916 and later Killed in action on 22nd April 1918 and is Mentioned in Dispatches and in the Roll of honour of members of the Society of Writers to His Majesty's Signet.
He is buried at Saint Venant-Robecq Road British Cemetery
ADJUTANT H. S. WEDDERBURN
Born 28th June 1872 as the eldest son of H. Scrymgeour Wedderburn of Birkhill. He was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders and joined the 2nd battalion at Dublin in January 1894. He then served with the 2nd battalion in Glasgow from 1894 to 1896. He was appointed ed Lieutenant in January 1897 and exchanged to 1st battalion at the end of 1898. This made him a subordinate of W.E. Gordon (Major Gordon's brother). In August 1899 he was Senior Lieutenant of the Queen's Guard. In December 1899 he was sent to South Africa and commanded a draft of 250 men, with which he joined the 1st battalion at Enslin, in Cape Colony. He was promoted to Captain in South Africa on 7th January 1900. He served with the 1st battalion in South Africa until the beginning of Lord Roberts' advance north from Bloemfontein in April 1900, when he was wounded and was sent home invalided. In September 1900 he joined the 9th Royal Scots and was gazetted Adjutant in June 1901. He resigned his commission 20th February 1904.
Born 5th July 1868 as the son of Angus Gregorson and grandson of John Gregorson of Ardtornish. He previously served with the Mounted Infantry contingent from 1894 till 1898. In the 9th Royal Scots, he was appointed captain on 28th May 1904. He resigned his commission on 14th March 1908. On 1 October 1914, he was appointed to Captain.
Captain Gregorson was enlisted in the Reserve Battalion in the First World War and assisted the rescue of Lt K Mackenzie and Cpl Forsyth, about 4 a.m. in the morning on 3rd December 1914. Promoted to Major, he commanded 2/9th draft to Aldershot for special musketry practise before he went to France on 4th August 1916. He later became a Recruiting Officer at Berwick.
He was married to Beatrice Margaret Roper Boswall.
SECOND LIEUTENANT DONALD GRANT ROSE
APPOINTED: 3 NOVEMBER 1900
Born in 1869. He served for ten years in the Dutch militia at Java and joined the 9th Royal Scots as a Second Lieutenant on 3rd November 1900. He resigned a year later on 23rd November 1901, because he was called to the Far East on private business,
Born 26th August 1863 as the son of D.R.W. Huie and grandson of John Gregorson of Ardtornish. He previously served with the Mounted Infantry contingent from 1894 till 1898. In the 9th Royal Scots, he was appointed captain on 28th May 1904. He resigned his commission on 14th March 1908.
Although resigned in 1908 he returned in photographs of the unit from 1911 onwards. He was appointed Major in 1909. We can track him down with the battalion till 1914. He guarded German P.O.W.s at Redford Barracks from September 1914 for 6 weeks.
David Herbert Huie was married to Louisa May Campbell in 1894 and had at least one son Malcolm Campbell Huie who was born in 1905.
Major Huie died on 30 September 1938 in Edinburgh.
Born on 9th October 1875 as the son of Sylvester F. R. Deas. He studied at Oxford University and joined the Oxford University Volunteer Corps. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 15th November 1902 and Captain on the 24th of June 1905. He resigned his commission in 1908.
He had two daughters, Ethel Lomax Deas and Francis Allan Ann Deas.
George F. Deas died on 4th of January 1927 and his buried at Warriston Cemetery (along with his daughters)
SURGEON-LIEUTENANT KENNETH MACKINNON DOUGLAS
APPOINTED: 14 AUGUSTUS 1900
Born 11th January 1863 as the son of Andrew Halliday Douglas.
Douglas was appointed Surgeon-Captain on 14th August 1903 and resigned his commission 31st March 1908.
SURGEON-LIEUTENANT JAMES MOWAT
APPOINTED: 31 AUGUSTUS 1900
SURGEON-LIEUTENANT JOHN CUMMING
APPOINTED: 31 AUGUSTUS 1900
Born 31st December 1863 as the son of Alexander Cumming. He was appointed Surgeon-Captain on 31st August 1903 and Captain on 20th October 1908.
member of the Medical Board in Edinburgh Castle in 1917.
CHAPLAIN REV. ARCHIBALD FLEMING
APPOINTED: 3 NOVEMBER 1900
Born on 27th December 1863 as the son of Rev. A. Fleming of Inchyra, Minister of St. Paul's Parish Church, Perth. He became the chaplain of the battalion on 3 November 1900 and resigned his commission on the 20th of June 1903. He also acted as a chaplain for the 7th Volunteer Battalion.
APPOINTED IN 1901
MAJ. GEN. SIR IAN HAMILTON KCB DSO
APPOINTED: 31 AUGUST 1901
Born 16th January 1853, as the son of Colonel Hamilton, Commanding officer of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders. Sir Ian Hamilton was nominated twice for the Victoria Cross during his career but was turned down each time. He served with the 92nd Highlanders in the Afghan War of 1878-1880 and was present at the engagement at Charasiah on 6th October 1879. He then served in the First Boer War of 1881 and got severely wounded. After his recovery, he served in the Nile Expedition where he was Captain of the Guard to Major-General Earle. He, later on, served in the Burmese Expedition (1886-1887) and the Chitral Relief Force under Sir Robert Low. He later commanded the third brigade Tirah Expeditionary Force in the campaign on the North-West Frontier of India. Finally, he served in the Second Boer War as Chief of Staff in Natal and in command of the Mounted Infantry divisions. After the war, he became a military secretary in the war office in 1904. During this position, he attended, as British Attaché to the operations of General Kuroki's army in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1909 he was General Officer Commanding the Southern Command.
On the outbreak of the First World War, Hamilton was appointed Commander-In-Chief Home Army. In 1915 he was chosen by Lord Kitchener to Command the Allied Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Because of the delay of the Gallipoli campaign, Hamilton never saw active duty in the First World War and retired in 1915.
Hamilton was married to Jean Muir and the couple had no children. His later life existed in serving the British legion. He died on 12 October 1947 and is buried Kilmadock Cemetery, in Doune, Stirlingshire, Scotland
LIEUTENANT JOHN SPROAT TAYLOR CAMERON
APPOINTED: 23 NOVEMBER 1901
Born 28th June 1866 as the son of reverend M.C. Taylor, professor of Ecclesiastical History. The resumed family name of Cameron, being a direct descendant of the "Tailleur Dubh" of Lochiel. He studied Law an became an Advocate. He was promoted to Captain on 8th February 1905.
MAJOR JAMES C. WARDROP
APPOINTED: 19 OCTOBER 1901
LIEUTENANT JAMES CRAWFORD CALDWELL BROUN
APPOINTED: 23 NOVEMBER 1901
James C. C. Broun was born on 11th December 1862 as the second son of Hugh Broun and Jessie Crawford. He studied Law on the Edinburgh University and became an advocate in 1886. Later on, he became a Sheriff-Substitute of Ayrshire.
Lieutenant James Broun was one of only 45 from the 9th Royal Scots who fought in the Second Boer War. He went to South Africa and served with 3rd Volunteer Service Company, Royal Scots from 3rd February to 14th August 1902 and was later transferred to 1st Battalion Royal Scots till the end of the war. Broun had the ‘interesting experience of being the last officer to take a flag of truce into the enemy’s lines’ according to James Ferguson. He was promoted to Captain on 8th February 1905 and took part in raising the territorial Force and commanded the Shetland Companies (the Gordon Highlanders) and later as a major in the 7th Battalion (Territorial)(Deeside Highland) Gordon Highlanders before the First World War.
27 APRIL 1917
Captain Taylor was a 9th Royal Scots officer who saw action in some of the worst battles during the First World War
Alexander Taylor was born in 1872 in Barnmills, Carrickfergus, Ireland. His parents moved the family to Glasgow in his youth, and he was educated at Glasgow Academy and Glasgow University. His father is listed as a manufacturer, although of what is not known. He graduated with honours in Classics, before taking his law degree, and carried out his training at Messrs Robertson, Low, Robertson and Cross. He was admitted to the Faculty in 1896.
He never acquired a large practice despite appearing in several important cases. He contributed many articles to the law journals of the time and reported on Justiciary cases. He acted as interim Sheriff-Substitute in Banff, Stornoway, Aberdeen and Glasgow; and was later appointed Sheriff-Substitute at Forfar in 1911, where he proved most efficient.
On 23 November 1900, Taylor has commissioned a lieutenant in the 9th Royal Scots. During this period the regiment had sent only 45 men to participate in de Second Boer War. Taylor was incorporated in the same battalion as James Ferguson, Senior. Later on, Taylor resigned in 1902 but rejoined in 1905.
In March 1905 he married Rhoda McIntyre at Bridgend House, Callander. Rhoda's father was a fancy dress manufacturer from Glasgow.
After his appointment to Sherrif in Forfar he was moved to the reserve list. On 4 August 1914, he was mobilised as a reservist and took command of "A" Company with the rank of Captain. He landed with the company at Le Havre on 26th February 1915, and when the 9th Royal Scots were incorporated into the 81stBrigade of the 27thDivision and were later attached with the 154thBrigade of the 51st(Highland) Division. Together with Walter Lyon he fought at the 2ndBattle of Ypres and was severely wounded at St Julien, on 23rd April 1915. After almost a year of recuperation, he returned to his battalion on 1st March 1916 and survived the Somme offensive, when his battalion suffered huge losses. Captain Taylor was killed at the Battle of Arras on 27th April 1917 when leading his Company in the fighting for the Scarpe Valley.
The official record of Taylor's death reads:
The Royal Scots'official history states that the battalion took over trenches near Fampoux on the 15th of April. On the 21st, "A" Company succeeded in forcing a passage along a trench in front of Mount Pleasant Wood, and after ejecting the Germans, established a post there. This should have been enough, but the Company then went on to Roeux Wood, where it was sadly cut up by the enemy riflemen and machine gunners and was forced back to its starting point. In this unlucky action, Captain Taylor was killed.
Taylor was buried at Level Crossing Cemetery, Fampoux. Among the other 51 men of his unit, almost all of whom were killed in the same week as Taylor.
2ND LIEUTENANT JOHN COLLOW -CAMPBELL
APPOINTED: 20 MARCH 1901
Second Lieutenant Johan Collow Campbell was born on 27 June 1868 as the son of Thomas Collow Campbell. When entering the 9th Royal Scots he was attached to RS Depot on September 1901. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 15 November 1902 and served under D Coy in 1903. On 24 June 1905, he was promoted to Captain and received the Volunteer Long Service Medal in august 1907. During that year he attended the School of Instruction in Edinburgh. A year later he attended Musketry Course at Hythe.
2ND LIEUTENANT HON . JAMES M. BALFOUR
APPOINTED: 19 OCTOBER 1901
Born 6th July 1878 as the son of Right Hon. Lord Kinross. He served in the Cheltenham Cadet Corps and while studying at Oxford University he joined the Oxford University Volunteer Corps. He served with the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry for two weeks in 1902. He resigned his commission on 19th November 1904.
2ND LIEUTENANT RICHARD HENRY MONCREIFF
APPOINTED: 20 MARCH 1901
Moncrieff was born on 10th March 1882 as the son of the Hon. F. J. Moncreiff and grandson of the Right Hon. Lord Moncreiff. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 28th May 1904 and to Captain on 14th of March 1908. He commanded C Company during the Second Battle for Ypres and later at High Wood, where he was wounded. He was given the Territorial Medal from Princes Mary on September 1919.
2ND LIEUTENANT DAVID H. C. CAMPBELL
APPOINTED: 7 DECEMBER 1901
Born 15th May 1884 as the son of Patrick W. Campbell. He resigned from the battalion on 8th February 1905.
LIEUTENANT WALTER SCOTT S. LYON.
FIRST ADVOCAT KILLED IN ACTION
LIEUTENANT WALTER SCOTT STUART LYON
Walter Scott Stuart Lyon was born at Springfield, NorthBerwick in 1886. His father was an Architect, who practised mainly in England but who had offices in India Street, Edinburgh – one of his surviving designs is for Findynate House, Aberfeldy. Lyon‟s father died when he was eight and his mother moved to Tantallon Lodge, North Berwick, by 1911. Walter had four brothers, all of whom (including himself) studied at Haileybury College and he later went to Balliol College, Oxford, to study Classics, followed by Edinburgh University for his law degree; he graduated LLB in 1912 and was admitted to the Faculty in December.
In 1902 he had been enlisted in the military as a cadet in the Haileybury Officer training corps and continued with the Oxford University OTC and finally joined the 9th Royal Scots in 1910. Three years later he was promoted to Lieutenant. In August 1914, he was mobilised and landed in France on 26 February 1915. Previous he obtained a job as staff Captain in the Lothian Brigade, but because his friends would go to the front, he resigned this position, falling back to his old rank of lieutenant.
On 8th May 1915, Walter's regiment was in dugouts in Potijze Wood near the Menin Road, in some distance from Glencorse Wood. Fierce shelling was uprooting what was left of the trees, and shrapnel was shattering the treetops, causing deadly shards of wood to fly into the troops on the ground. Lyon was killed instantaneously while tending a wounded man during what is now called the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge, during the 2nd
Battle of Ypres. The British line fell back as much as two miles, but much of this ground was recovered later by Canadian troops. Lyon was mentioned in Despatches on 23rd April by Major Ewing, who later wrote the official history of the Royal Scots. The citation states: -"C Company had come to a halt behind a hedge which was so thickly girt with barbed wire that men could not break through without great labour. Noticing this, Lieutenant Lyon very coolly stood up and, taking out his wire cutters, began to make gaps. Machine guns played with him, but without any sign of haste he proceeded with his task, never stopping until he had rendered the hedge penetrable." Walter Lyon is remembered on the Menin Gate, Ypres, along with one of his brothers. He is also remembered on the North Berwick war memorial with two of his brothers. At last, he is remembered on a memorial in Christ Church, Lanark, gifted by his mother and his surviving brother, who was the Rector of that church.
Walter's mother Mrs Lyon, lost three of her six sons in the war. Before the war, she already lost two of her sons one at birth, and one died at Haileybury later on. Walters brother Alexander was a regular soldier and was killed on 27th August 1914 –one of the very first casualties of the war. Charles was killed on November 1914 and Walter was the third casualty. The only survivor of the six brothers was the Reverend William Towers Lyon, who was the Rector of St Fillan‟s Episcopal Church, Kilmacolm. Although he survived the war, he died young, in 1922, at the age of 37. Mrs Lyon, outlived her husband and all her sons and died at North Berwick in November 1933. She obtained the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of North Berwick for her war work. She also commissioned a painting by Patrick Adam called "Poppy Fields, Flanders" that is now in the ownership of East Lothian Council.